In recent years, concern over high school graduates who could not balance checkbooks or read directions has led many states to require students to pass minimum competency tests before receiving their diplomas. This, legislators believe, will again make diplomas meaningful, as well as promote better education. Dr. Lazarus points out that any testing scheme creates inequities and that these tests are of special concern due to the emphasis society places on high school graduation; a just society cannot accept their potential to mark a student for life. The problem, he believes, is that society cannot agree on the goals of education, making relevant testing difficult. He also questions whether such testing will produce better curricula and notes that, while more emphasis on the basics may be needed, undue stress on them may weaken other parts of the curricula. He concludes that the goals of minimum competency testing are laudable, but that implementation may do long-term damage to education.
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