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New Ammunition for Backers of Do-or-Die Exams

April 23, 2003
Greg Winter
The New York Times

Two new studies make the case that do-or-die exams — which decide whether students graduate, teachers are dismissed or schools are shut in more than half the states in the nation — have brought about at least a modicum of academic progress, especially for minority students who may get scant attention otherwise. The studies appear to push the research pendulum away from critics who have argued that the fixation with make-or-break exams undermines teachers, stifles analytical learning and squeezes out struggling students, all without providing any clear benefits.