PLAINSBORO - Gov. Chris Christie wants to retire New Jersey's maligned high school graduation exam and instead require students to pass a series of tougher tests at the end of required courses.

Under the plan the governor announced yesterday, the HSPA would be phased out over time. But students now in high school would still have to pass the test or an alternate assessment.

Students in fifth through eighth grade would take the new tests as part of a pilot program. The new exams would be a graduation requirement for students currently in forth grade and younger.

Christie wants to switch to a system of final exams at the end of ninth, 10th and 11th grades in math and language arts.

The governor also said that New Jersey will change the way it calculates graduation rates to conform to national standards.

Christie announces new system for high school finals