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STAAR impact on graduation rates

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More area students could be dropping out of high school as they're required to take more exams.

Amarillo and Bushland schools say the testing load is heavier and exams are more difficult. AISD's Superintendent Rod Schroder says it's too much pressure on the students.

In 2009 and 2010, the district's graduation rates were below state average. In 2011 they exceeded the state by about 2% with 87% graduating.

But more students could be dropping out because of the new STAAR testing. The superintendent says writing standards are higher, and the problem is they need to see the exam and answer key to analyze and improve instruction.

Schroder says, "We don't see the tests. We don't see the questions that were asked. So when we're working with the student, we just know what general area that seems to be deficient." He says they won't be able to see the exams for another three years.

Schroder says there are students in the state who have gone through multiple attempts to pass the writing portion of the exam, and still have yet to pass it.

We're told the state legislature is seeing that having high school students take 15 tests could create a lot of drop outs, and they're going to respond to that.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.