EOC Exams for Block High Schools

The Winston-Salem Journal gave a good rollup yesterday on how school systems are treating the upcoming high school end-of-course exams, those schools mainly that are on block schedules. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, along with Guilford, Randolph, and many others, will be giving one EOC per day, instead of cramming two in one day.

An excerpt:

Students in high schools that have block schedules have already taken one set of exams. Those schools organize their classes into semesters, so students finished their first set of classes and took the tests on them in January. Some spent more than three hours on the tests, Puryear said.

Because a new state law requires ninth-graders to pass five end-of-course tests – in English I, Biology, Algebra I, Civics and Economics and U.S. History – before they graduate, it became more important to make sure they have the chance to do well on them, he said.

The school system plans to spend seven days on testing for the high schools with seven-period days, probably starting in May and continuing in June for schools with block schedules, Puryear said.

The tests will be given in the mornings, and students will have review sessions in the afternoons.

“The instructional time is a concern. Quite frankly, we don’t want to do this. We would prefer that the exams be shortened,” Puryear said.

State officials said that they think untimed tests will do a better job of judging what students have learned, said Mildred Baze­more, the section chief for test development section at the N.C. Department of Instruction.

The state has no control over how the school systems decide to administer the tests, she said.

The test-taking business will be busy next month.

E.C. 🙂

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