Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 18, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Students who can't pass exit exam shouldn't get diplomas

Editor:

Letting students graduate who cannot do the work and who cannot pass the exit exam devalues the diploma for all students ("End the waffling on exit exams," April 11).

California had to reduce the high school exit exam to middle school math and 9th grade English because too many students could not pass the exam. Even more alarming, students can flunk the exit exam and receive a high school diploma. (Students only need to get 55 percent of the answers correct to pass the high school exit exam. California originally required students to get 70 percent correct in order to pass, but too few students could answer 70 percent of the questions correctly.)

If students cannot pass the "dumbed down" high school exit exam, then they don't deserve a diploma. Giving students a certificate of completion is even a stretch.

Life is difficult and challenging and life does not reward you if you can't do the work. We are giving students a false sense of how well they are doing when we reward them for work they either can't do or won't do.

Giving a student a diploma for flunking the exit exam is like giving a facelift to a cancer patient. It looks good, but does nothing to solve the underlying problem.

Ellen Santiago

Azure Street

City will dispose of hazardous waste

Editor:

Recently as I was walking down View Street, I noticed a syringe in the street with the needle exposed. I called the Mountain View Police Department and they sent someone out to pick it up.

This syringe was in the street where someone parking could have stepped on it. With the recent warm weather, someone in sandals or flip-flops could have been stabbed by the needle. All it takes is one stick with an HIV-infected needle to confer a life sentence of HIV-AIDS.

The city of Mountain View provides safe disposal of hazardous waste products (including medical waste) by calling the County HHW Facility (408) 299-7300. This is by appointment only, and there is no fee.

More information may be found at www.mountainview.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=3264.

Valerie Harris

View Street

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