A LYS district leader shares the following:
A common sense testing plan (feel free to adopt):
Any student who scores high enough on the ACT/SAT or TSI (Texas Success Initiative assessment) to gain entry to ANY accredited (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) institution of post-secondary education is deemed college ready. No new test needed. No new standard needed.
Any student who earns an ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) score that will allow them entry into at least one branch of the US Military or the Coast Guard is deemed career ready. No new test needed. No new standard needed.
It really doesn’t have to be hard. Nor expensive.
SC Response I’m all for multiple pathways and supplanting assessments. And for high school I have no problem with success on a particular assessment negating the need to take additional assessments. And I agree that the if a high school student scores at a certain level on the ACT, SAT, TSI, or ASVAB, and has earned enough credits to graduate then, at the very least, a minimal acceptable standard of education has been met.
However, your answer isn’t THE answer. If your answer was THE answer, that would require aligned curriculum to the new assessments. Thereby providing a greater number of students a greater chance of being taught the material that must be mastered to earn their diploma.
And the exit level tests do not address EOC requirements for prerequisite courses and lower grades. But let’s take the elementary and junior high testing off the table for this discussion and just look at high school.
First, we need to decide what are the minimum levels of core courses that must be passed that meet the minimum standards of a productive member of society. I think you could get away with 5 EOC tests: (Junior Level ELA and Writing; Algebra 1 and Geometry; Biology; U.S. Government). We have state standards for those courses; build the EOC to measure the mastery of those standards. Mechanically, this is not a difficult proposition.
Then to graduate, a student must: Earn the requisite number of credits in the requisite courses and do just one of the following:
A. Pass 4 of the 5 EOC tests B. Score a 31 on the ASVAB C. Score a 21 on the ACT D. Score a 1500 on the SAT E. Score a 370 on the TSI
If a student hits a cut score any of the non-EOC tests, for graduation purposes, EOC scores are moot.
And like your suggestion, this isn’t hard. It would be cost less to administer than our current system and be more beneficial to our graduating seniors.
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