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Students who failed exams will still get passing grades

Bonus! Thousands of high school students who failed their graduation exams will get passing grades because of a bureaucratic bungle.

The students were to be told Friday they had failed. But Education Commissioner Frank Brogan gave the students a reprieve late Thursday following complaints from principals.The high school seniors and adult education students originally were told they passed the High School Competency Test in January. State scorers had relied on easier grading criteria that were made tougher in 1996.

Requiring the students to retake the tests in March or April "will be unfair and lead to substantial hardships," Brogan wrote in a memo to all Florida school district superintendents.