Students fall victim to graduation test

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News 12 First at Five, May 31, 2007

It's graduation season, and this week the spotlight is on high school students getting diplomas. But not everyone who's walking is receiving one. Instead, some are getting certificates after failing to pass the graduation test.

It's a day that will fill photo albums and even catapult some college careers. For Regina Nabriat, the walk across stage is such a short journey compared to the one she had to make to get here.

"Without the motivation, I don't think I would have gotten here," says Regina.

A month ago we interviewed Regina with her graduation coach, Malissa Collins. The two were paired in an effort to help Regina pass her graduation test. A test that only 55% of Richmond County's students passed last year.

"They're individuals, they're persons. They're people we need to invest in," says Collins.

So the state of Georgia invested twenty one million dollars into a program placing coaches in classrooms. It worked for Regina; she finally passed her test. As she walks on stage, she's proud. And so is Coach Collins.

Still not everyone's getting a diploma. Only fifty eight percent of students passed this year; a three percent improvement from 2006.

"I feel good about it. You lose some and you win some so I think we won more than we lost," says school board member Marion Barnes.

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