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MDE looks to public for opinions on high school exit exams

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communications, Inc.

The Mississippi State Board of Education is seeking the public’s opinion on a proposed revision to its timeline for incorporating end-of-course assessment scores into students’ final grades.

Along with others, currently, high school students are required to take the following courses to qualify for graduation: Algebra I, English II, Biology I and U.S. History. They must also take an end-of-course assessment for each course.

In the 2013-14 school year, the board removed the requirement that students pass all four end-of-course assessments to graduate. The board also established a timeline to incorporate each test score as 25 percent of a student’s final grade for the corresponding course.

The board’s proposal recommends phasing in the inclusion of end-of-course assessment scores into final grades as follow:

  • School year 2018-19: Algebra I and English II
  • School year 2020-21: Biology I
  • School year 2021-22: U.S. History

The proposal delays the inclusion of Biology I and U.S. History scores into final grades because new assessments are being developed for these subjects. MDE says that new assessments are needed because new academic standards have been adopted for both subjects.

The MDE says there are a number of ways for students to graduate.

  1. Obtain a score of 17 or higher on the reading subject subscore of the ACT.
  2. Earn a C or higher in an entry-level credit-bearing dual enrollment / dual credit/college credit course with a HIS prefix.
  3. Obtain an ASVAB AFQT score of 36 plus one of the following:
  • Earn a CPAS (Career Planning and Assessment System) score that meets the attainment level assigned by Federal Perkins requirements.
  • Earn an approved Industry Certification as specified in the Career Pathway’s Assessment Blueprint and in Appendix A-5 in the current edition of the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards.
  1. Obtain the Silver Level on the ACT Work Keys plus one of the following:
  • Earn a CPAS (Career Planning and Assessment System) score that meets the attainment level assigned by Federal Perkins requirements.
  • Earn an approved Industry Certification as specified in the Career Pathway’s Assessment Blueprint and in Appendix A-5 in the current edition of the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards.

Graduation requirements for the 2017-18 school year are detailed in the publication, Graduation Options: Guide for Districts.

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