In a press conference Tuesday, Hillsborough Superintendent Jeff Eakins outlined his plan to give options to students that took the Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry state end of course exams. Florida’s Department of Education announced Monday that the exams will not count for a grade this year as they’ve moved to a new platform and new tests.
Superintendent Eakins noted that, “Our strategy is to provide options for students to ensure they are not at all harmed by this decision. We know they’ve been working hard to study for these exams and they’ve put their heart and soul into taking them.” He rolled out three options for students to choose from. Option one calculates the second semester grade by averaging the third and fourth quarter grades. Option two averages the third and fourth quarter grades and also averaging the highest previous EOC score weighted at 30% of the final grade. (This option is only for students who have “banked” scores earned from previously taking the EOCs for these subjects.) Option three allows students to take an optional district created end of course exam (paper/pencil test) which would count as 30% of the students grade. However, students who choose this option will not be negatively impacted if the score would lower their grade. The test results can only be used to improve student performance. Read the full memo here. This from the Tampa Tribune:
The decision comes weeks after the Legislature passed a measure that drops the requirement that districts give end-of-course exams in every subject and grade. Additionally, lawmakers decided earlier this year that schools will not be penalized if they receive state-issued school grades.
Florida students took the first statewide end-of-course exam, Algebra 1, in 2011. Four years later, students are required to take a state exam in six subjects and pass those classes before they can graduate.
This year, the state rolled out Florida Standards Assessments tests in math and language arts for students in grades 3-11. Those exams, in addition to the math end-of-course exams, are aligned to the new Florida Standards, which set learning goals for students in each grade.
Aside from the math courses, students are also required to take state tests in Biology 1, U.S. history and civics. Those three tests will still count as 30 percent of a student’s grade in the course because they are not new. Full story