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Table 5.8. Alternative paths to graduation for students with disabilities, by state: 2007

State Number of alternative paths to graduation1 Alternative diploma/certificate2 Alternative assessment3 Waiver4 Exemption5
United States1 37 14 13 5 5
Alabama 2 Yes No Yes No
Alaska 1 No Yes No No
Arizona 1 No No No Yes
California 3 Yes No Yes Yes
District of Columbia
Florida 1 No No Yes No
Georgia 2 Yes No Yes No
Idaho 1 No Yes No No
Indiana 1 No No Yes No
Louisiana 1 Yes No No No
Maryland 1 Yes No No No
Massachusetts 2 Yes Yes No No
Minnesota 1 No Yes No No
Mississippi 2 Yes Yes No No
Nevada 1 Yes No No No
New Hampshire
New Jersey 2 No Yes No Yes
New Mexico 2 Yes Yes No No
New York 2 Yes Yes No No
North Carolina 1 Yes No No No
North Dakota
Ohio 2 No Yes No Yes
Oklahoma 2 No Yes No Yes
Rhode Island
South Carolina 2 Yes Yes No No
South Dakota
Tennessee 1 Yes No No No
Texas 1 No Yes No No
Virginia 1 Yes No No No
Washington 1 No Yes No No
West Virginia
Not applicable. State does not require students to pass an exam to receive a high school diploma.
1 National total reflects the number of "Yes" responses for each column, with the exception of the column "Number of alternative paths to graduation"; for this column, the national total reflects the number of states with alternative paths to graduation.
2 Alternative diplomas or certificates are awarded to students with disabilities who do not pass the exit exam, who take alternative assessments, or use nonstandard accommodations. For example, students in Virginia who do not meet the requirements for a standard or advanced diploma may qualify for a "modified standard diploma" if they meet the state requirements for course credits and state benchmarks for numeracy and literacy.
3 Alternative assessment is defined as an assessment that is aligned to state standards and has been created by the state specifically as an alternative to the exit exam for certain students. For example, students with disabilities in New Mexico can participate in the Career Readiness Program of Study, whereby students take the standard New Mexico exit exam and meet a competency level determined by the studentís individualized education program (IEP) team.
4 States vary in their conditions for granting a waiver and usually involve the student demonstrating proficiency in other ways. For example, students with disabilities in Indiana must submit a written recommendation from key teachers that has the support of the principal, along with documentation of the studentís acquired knowledge. Indiana also requires the student to maintain a C average, maintain a 95% attendance rate, complete remediation opportunities as specified by the student's IEP, and retake the exam in each failed subject as often as required by the student's IEP.
5 Exemptions vary by state, and do not imply the student will receive a regular diploma. For example, students in New Jersey designated "IEP-exempt" must take the exit exam at least once, but their scores will not affect their graduation status. They can still earn a regular diploma if they fulfill all other requirements for graduation.
SOURCE: State High School Exit Exams: Students with Disabilities, Center on Education Policy, 2008. Data Source