Educators and lawmakers push for a move away from state testing - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

  • WLBT Online Poll

  • Should end of subject exams be done away with so students are only required to take the ACT?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    56%
    361 votes
    No
    44%
    286 votes

Educators and lawmakers push for a move away from state testing

Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT
Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is one of a handful of states still putting a testing condition on graduation. There's a growing push to scrap the state's four subject area tests in favor or the ACT.

There's a bit of debate on how you phrase this discussion, but the bottom line doesn't change.

"We don't have an exit exams," said Rep. Gary Chism-R. "It's an end-of-course exam for three subjects, four subjects now."

Both the educators and lawmakers said it didn't matter what you call them. The results are the same.

"Whatever word is convenient or inconvenient for MDE is not important to me as it is to the 649 students last year in Mississippi who did not get to exit high school because they did not pass the exam," responded Rep. Jay Hughes-D.

One Representative asked what the cut score would be if the ACT was given in place of the current tests.

The answer, there wouldn't be one.

Here's why.

"The federal law says they have to take these tests to measure how their growth is in these areas," described Rep. Tom Miles-D. "It doesn't say they actually have to pass them. That's something that the Mississippi Department of Education and the state of Mississippi are putting on our students."

The new federal education law makes the switch possible. The panel admits it would require a change to the core curriculum to better match the ACT, but they think it would be worth it for various reasons.

"Anytime we start administering all these tests, we're pulling teachers out of the classroom, out of the normal instructional practice," said Dr. John Mark Cain, Scott County Deputy Superintendent.

"Not one time has a college called me and said what did little Johnny make on his English 10 test or his Algebra 1 test," added Pearl High School principal Chris Chism. "Never. The only two things they care about are there ACT score and their high school GPA."

The State Department of Education said in a statement: 

Mississippi has learning standards reviewed and approved by teachers from across the state and state tests that were developed by Mississippi teachers to measure what they are teaching in the classroom. We support the work of our teachers, and the high expectations that they have set has led to rising student achievement, earning national attention. We believe our existing state tests accurately measure what students should be learning in classrooms across the state. We appreciate all the hard work across the state that’s better preparing them for success in college, career and life.

Mississippi did expand the options a few years ago. If a student doesn't pass one of the four end-of-course tests, they can still graduate if they have a certain class average and meet specific benchmarks.

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly