Friday, May 31, 2013
This week South Carolina considered joining the line of states that are phasing out exit exams as a requirement to graduate from high school. South Carolina was an early adopter of exit exam testing, but this week the state House of Representatives passed a bill to end the state's exit exam requirement. States adopted exit exams to measure student learning by linking high school graduation to performance on basic proficiency exams. Now 25 states are considering severing the ties between exit exams and high school graduation, as more data indicates that the exams have had little correlation with student achievement and may also disadvantage students with special needs. The legislatures of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada recently passed measures to end the use of exit exams as a requirement for high school graduation, although some states plan to continue using the tests as learning assessments. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post makes a case against high-stakes standardized testing in Why schools should stop using exit exams; USA Today reports on the exit exam trend in Exit exams may be on their way out. For more information, click the right graphic to see George Washington University's Sept. 2012 report, State High School Exit Exams: A Policy in Transition.