The Associated Press

JACKSON - The state Board of Education has dropped a portion of student testing that required 10th graders to show they can write a narrative essay as requirement to graduate.

The board approved a recommendation from State Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds.

The change is retroactive, meaning any junior or senior who still hasn't passed it would no longer need to.

Bounds said because "of the number of assessments we give and the time it takes. It just makes sense to eliminate one of them, and the narrative is the one to delete."

Kris Kaase, director of student assessment, said students have a lot of trouble understanding the format, although it is sometimes clear from reading their essays they know how to express themselves.

"Over the years, we've had cases where a student was able to communicate clearly but not in the proscribed way," he said.

Last year, 3,608 students out of 29,580 did not pass the narrative essay, educators said.

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