Florida’s Exit Exams Create Underclass “FCAT Refugee” Population - FCAT Refugees Can Bypass the FCATS for Their Diplomas from Maine High School

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The "No Child Left Behind" laws, along with Florida’s "FCAT" penalty, are creating FCAT Refugees, a whole underclass of “lesser graduates” from Florida high schools. But there is hope in Maine. Refugees from Florida have transferred their high school credits to a Maine high school and earned their high school diploma. No FCAT and no exit exams are required in Maine. Students earn their diplomas by earning the necessary 17-1/2 high school credits. Students who have the credits are entitled to the diploma, no matter where they live, from the North Atlantic Regional High School. http://www.narhs.org

Florida’s “FCAT” and the federal government’s “No Child Left Behind” testing are creating FCAT Refugees, a whole underclass of “lesser graduates” from high school. Where do refugees turn? They turn to safe states that do not have exit exams. 25 states have Exit Exams. 25 states do not. Florida has the FACT. Maine has none. There is help from a Maine high school.

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 necessary 17.5 credits required by NARHS, they receive their high school diploma from our state-authorized, fully accredited private school.”

FCAT refugees are students who have all of the graduation requirements earned. FCAT refugees earned passing grades, they served their attendance requirements, they did everything that was required of them. But, they could not pass that one high-stakes exit exam. The political climate of their state made each into an FCAT refugee. Each year in Florida, FCAT refugees make up about 10 per cent of the high school seniors. That’s nearly 15,000 FCAT refugees.

Maine has no exit exams required. 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. Moitozo says, “NARHS provides a legal loophole for these students to get the high school diploma they have rightfully earned.” 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.

There is a special web site established by the North Atlantic Regional High School to lead families in the process. http://www.narhs.org/FCAT Included in their services is a FREE Transcript Evaluation. Students wondering if they have enough credits to qualify for the Maine high school diploma may find this 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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