FCAT Refugees Look to Maine High School for Diploma, the FCAT Loophole, to Bypass Exit Exams

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Students who cannot pass their high school exit exams are refugees of their states. For four years they did everything they were told to do, but in the end they could not pass this one, single, high stakes test. They find out, “Sorry, four years or not, good work or not, no diploma!” It doesn’t seem fair, but year after year exit exam refugees are made with every test. A Maine private school bypasses all of this to provide an answer.

Each year in Florida, FCAT refugees make up about 10 per cent of the high school seniors. That’s nearly 15,000 FCAT refugees who would have graduated with enough passing grades, enough high school credits, and enough attendance to earn a high school diploma. But, they could not pass that one high stakes test. In conclusion, the political climate of their state made each into an FCAT refugee. Where do refugees turn? They turn to other states that do not have exit exams.

Maine has no exit exams required. The North Atlantic Regional High School in Lewiston, Maine has worked with the FCAT refugees for 2 years. School Administrator, Steve Moitozo reports, “Students from Florida public schools have transferred their credits to NARHS, and if they have the required 17.5 credits required by NARHS, they receive their high school diploma from our state-authorized, fully accredited private school.” Moitozo adds, “Earning a high school diploma from Maine does not affect a student’s residency status. The student still qualifies for discounted in-state college tuition from the state where they live.”

Students own their high school credits. The credits belong to the students. The students can transfer their credits to a school out-of-state if they wish. So far, about 200 FCAT refugees from Florida have found a safe place in this Maine high school and graduated from the school. NARHS graduates have been accepted in colleges and universities all over the country, including Penn State, Florida State University, University of Miami, University of Central Florida, Harvard, Julliard, Cornell, Purdue, Johns Hopkins, to name a few.

Moitozo says, “NARHS provides a legal loophole for these students to get the high school diploma they have rightfully earned.” A special web site has been established by the North Atlantic Regional High School to lead families in the process, http://www.narhs.org/FCAT. Students wondering if they have enough credits to qualify for the Maine high school diploma may find the school's free Transcript Evaluation service exactly what they need.

Families pay for this service. NARHS is a private school and receives no public funds, so private tuition is required. A graduating senior’s total tuition is $444.00.

About the North Atlantic Regional High School:

Founded in 1989 under the provisions of Maine law, NARHS is a state-authorized private school, fully accredited by the National Private Schools Association. For complete information and to request their free 99-page High School Handbook, visit http://www.NARHS.org.

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