According to a new study by the Tennessee Department of Education, 16.8% of special-education students, compared with 77.3% of ESL students and 79.5% of low-income students, passed all three Gateway exit exams in Biology I, Algebra I and English II during the past four years. Although students with disabilities who meet requirements in their individual education plans can receive a special-education diploma, some say the alternative diploma hampers students seeking admission to college or scholarship money.

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