HSA project onslaught, and a waiver option
For 125 city teachers, there will be no holiday shopping this weekend. Instead, they'll be grading the 880 projects submitted this week by students who have not yet passed all four HSAs or met the combined score to earn a high school diploma.
As Liz reports, the state school board yesterday approved a waiver process for students who haven't met the HSA requirements. The waivers will be granted at the discretion of local superintendents and can be appealed to the state. I've heard concerns from some people tracking the state action that, while the waivers are only supposed to be granted under extenuating circumstances, there's a lot of room for discretion. But it seems most superintendents (except maybe Jerry Weast in Montgomery County) want to keep the number of waivers granted to a minimum. The push is clearly still on in Baltimore for all students to either pass the tests or the project equivalents.
As of October, the city had 1,232 students in the class of 2009 working on 2,397 projects. There are still several more opportunities to submit projects before diplomas will be awarded or denied.