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High SchoolExit ExamsWhat States Are Doing (Additional Resources)
 
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ECS High School Policy Center (HSPC)


Exit Exams - This database provides 50-state information on numerous areas related to high school exit exams. (Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, March 2008)...

Special Populations: Inclusion in State High School Assessments - This database provides 50-state information on how English language learners and students with disabilities are included in statewide high school-level assessments and exit exams. (Tim Taylor and Michael Colasanti, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

States Conducting Student Competency Testing for High School Graduation (Exit Exams) MS Word PDF - Nearly all states have set standards that describe what students should know and be able to do. This ECS StateNote updates 2000 information on the various competency tests required in the states for high school graduation. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, December 2002)...

Competency Testing for High School Graduation -- Notes on the Texas Lawsuit : GI Forum v. Texas Education Agency MS Word - On January 7, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Prado of San Antonio ruled on a case that many states have been watching closely. The issue before the court was whether the passage of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) examination as a requirement for a high school diploma unfairly discriminates against Texas minority students or violates their due process rights. The court held that the Texas Education Agency did create a fair education policy when it created the "high-stakes" TAAS test. Thus, the passage requirement of TAAS does not unfairly discriminate against Texas minority students. (Katy Anthes, Education Commission of the States, May 2000)...

State High School Tests: Exit Exams and Other Assessments - This report on high school exit exams discusses new developments in state high school exit exam policies and how students enrolled in school in states with these policies are affected. Twenty-eight states required high school exit exams in the 2009-10 school year, and public schools in those states enroll 83 percent of the nation’s students of color and more than three-quarters of the country’s low-income pupils. For the first time, this year’s report also includes information about graduation requirements in states that do not require exit exams. State profiles are also available at the CEP site. (Center on Education Policy, December 2010)...

State High School Exit Exams: Trends in Test Programs, Alternate Pathways and Pass Rates - The report draws on a eight year study of high school exit exams to identify long-term trends in state policies and student performance. It highlights trends among states and analyzes exit exam pass rates. (Ying Zhang, Center on Education Policy, November 2009)...

State High School Exit Exams: Working to Raise Test Scores - This report looks at the new developments in the implementation of state high school exit exams in the 26 states that currently implement or plan to implement these tests. The report focuses on the efforts made at the state and local level to raise initial pass rates for all students, help students who fail on their first attempt, and close the achievement gap. (Dalia Zabala, Angela Minnici, Jennifer McMurrer, Deanna Hill, Alice Bartley and Jack Jennings, Center on Education Policy, September 2007)...

Year 6 Independent Evaluation of California High School Exit Examination - This independent report provides a comprehensive look at the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), student achievement on the exam, the tests’ impact on instruction, student achievement, student progress and graduation, student attitudes toward the CAHSEE and policy recommendations. The authors advise the state to keep the exit exam requirement in place for the Class of 2006 and beyond, but to identify specific options for students who do not pass the exam, and to implement these options by June 2006. The report also urges the state to collect data on students who do not pass the CAHSEE by June 2006 and use this information to further refine options for students struggling to pass the exam. Volume 1 of the full report is 277 pages. A 13-page executive summary is also available. (Human Resources Research Organization, September 2005)...

Multiple Measures Approaches to High School Graduation - This report examines how states are applying five approaches to using high school-level assessments to evaluate student performance: (1) a statewide high school exit exam is required but alternative assessments or measures are available; (2) alternative assessments or measures are available for students with disabilities and English language learners; (3) high school exams provide information on school performance, curriculum improvement or individual remediation needs but are not used to determine who graduates; (4) state tests or local assessments linked to state standards are recorded on the transcript, provide a diploma endorsement or allow a student to receive a differentiated diploma; and (5) local performance assessments are utilized to evaluate student learning. The appendix provides state profiles of high school graduation and assessment policies. (Linda Darling-Hammond, Elle Rustique-Forrester and Raymond L. Pecheone, The School Redesign Network at Stanford University, 2005)...

Advancing Ohio’s P-16 Agenda - The author examines the current role of exit exams in Ohio and nationwide, as well as the content and potential role of the EPAS system (EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT Assessment) and how a handful of states are incorporating these exams into their state assessment programs. Analyzing the correlations between the Ohio standards and the EPAS tests in 8th- and 10th-grade language arts, science and math, the report finds that “the ACT assessments (social studies excluded) do an adequate to excellent job of measuring Ohio’s academic content standards at the 10th grade and beyond into the 11th and 12th grades.” The author offers recommendations for policymakers, and proposes areas of future research. One recommendation: that the Ohio Department of Education give waivers to districts to use the ACT and/or ACT WorkKeys instead of the Ohio Graduation Test in conjunction with end of course tests. (Joseph A. Rochford, Stark County P-16 Compact and the Stark Education Partnership, Inc., November 2004)...

Do Graduation Tests Measure Up? A Closer Look at State High School Exit Exams - After a detailed analysis of the mathematics and English language arts exams in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas, Achieve reached three conclusions. First, it is perfectly reasonable to expect high school graduates to pass these tests — they are not overly demanding. Second, these exams should be strengthened over time to better measure the knowledge and skills high school graduates need to succeed in the real world. Third, states should not rely exclusively on these tests to measure everything that matters in a young person's education. Over time, states will need to develop a more comprehensive set of measures beyond on-demand graduation tests. (Achieve, Inc., 2004)...

Tennessee’s Graduation Exams: Past, Present, and Future - Since 1983, Tennessee has required high school students to pass an exam before graduating high school with a regular diploma. This requirement has gone through several changes since its inception, and beginning in 2005 a new test – the Gateway exam – will be administered as an end-of-course exam in three high school courses—Algebra I, English II and Biology I. This report discusses the importance of improving Tennessee’s graduation rate and the history of graduation exams in the state. The report also lists possible legislative alternatives to monitor and improve the effectiveness of the new tests and administrative alternatives. In addition, the author examines the pros and cons of five alternatives to exams. (John G. Morgan, Office of Education Accountability, State of Tennessee, November 2004)...


What States Are Doing Current

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