State to Begin Phasing out High School Graduation Test
(AJC) — The class of 2011 is about to be out the door, and so is the state’s high school graduation test. The state Board of Education is expected Wednesday to start the process of phasing out the test that’s been the gateway — and, in some cases, stumbling block — to graduation for all of Georgia’s public high school students since 1995. In the past three years, at least 3,000 students failed the test multiple times and had to petition the state Board of Education in order obtain their diplomas. Even now, 100,000 high school juniors and seniors are getting ready to take the test in the next three weeks. But barring some major change, they’ll be among the last who have to pass the four-part Georgia High School Graduation Test before they can graduate.
Beginning with next school year’s high school freshman class, students will be expected to pass eight end-of-course tests to graduate. Actually, they’ll have some wiggle room. What they’ll literally have to do is pass all eight courses, and those end-of-course tests will count for 20 percent of their course grade. In the phase-in period, current students will be allowed to take either or both tests. But by graduation they will have to have passed the high school graduation tests in the core subject areas of English/language arts, math, science and social studies or the equivalent end-of-course tests, said Melissa Fincher, associate state school superintendent of assessment and accountability.