Diplomas to be honored retroactively for those who previously failed EOCs Exams no longer required to graduate

Filling out a scantron, sophomore Kiana Espinoza takes a test. To prepare for her the End of Course exam, Espinoza practiced Algebra problems. “I feel like changing the rule is going to put a lot more stress on me to do well in my classes,” Espinoza said. “As opposed to just having to worry about one test and then knowing I will be able to retake it if I failed.” Photo Credit: Noel Sarte-Saad

Because of recent changes to state laws, the End of Course Exams are no longer required to graduate. The exam scores will now be built into a student’s overall grade in a course; however, students are still required to take the exam and pass the course.

“The state changed the law requiring a test, specifically End of Course, to go from a high-stakes test to a medium-stakes test,” Assistant Principal Donna Besser said. “High-stakes tests [means that they are] required for graduation and medium-stakes [means that they are] no longer required for graduation. However, to keep it in a true ‘End of Course Exam’, they’re making it at the end of your course.”

EOC will take the place of final exams in core classes such as English, Algebra I, Geometry and in science classes for the second semester. It is a semester exam, so it will never be worth more than 20% of students grades.

“The written portion of [students] ELA test still has to be sent to DRC, which is the state testing company so that portion of tests will be taken earlier during the year,” Besser said. “The rest of the ELA, Math I and Math II will be taken [instead] of final exams.”

Percentages will be determined by which year sophomores take the exam, but this year, it is up to the administrators to decide how much it will be worth. Percentages will be as follows:

Years ‘18 and ‘19: 10 percent
Years ‘19 and ‘20: 15 percent
Years ‘20 and ‘21: 20 percent

“Part of me is relieved because now if I get an [average] score it’s not a requirement to graduate,” sophomore Ariana San Juan said.”The other part of me is concerned because if I do get a bad grade, then it will affect my actual grade.”

Former high school students who did not receive a diploma because they did not pass one of the Nevada State Proficiency Exams can now apply to receive their high school diploma. Individual school districts will be taking written requests for a diploma from former high school students. All other graduation requirements must be met before a diploma is issued.

It will be interesting to see as time goes on, how many people will take advantage of this opportunity and if [getting their diploma] has any significant impact on their lives,” Besser said.

Finally, EOC exams will be taken on a scantron during final exam week, as opposed to being on computers like in previous years and will also be replacing final exams in core classes. Students can utilize the Nevada Department of Education website for study materials. 

The Nevada State Department of Education has materials to help [students] prepare on their website,” Assistant Principal Trish Taylor said. “These tests should be a reflection of what students have learned in these courses that are a graduation requirement. Technically, if students are successfully passing the course, they should be able to pass the exam.”

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