‘End of Course Exams’ Return for the Upcoming School Year

Standardized test given prior to the pandemic makes its return


Working diligently, students in Algebra I work on a problem. Teachers were notified about the exam in February. “My major concern is that CCSD made the decision about EOCs well into the school year,” Algebra 1 teacher Kirsten Landau said. “They have given us very little time to adjust our plans and prepare for this assessment.“

After being canceled for the last three years, CCSD announced the return of end of course exams to test student proficiency in English 10 and Algebra I. 

“By the time you’re getting to the 11th and 12th grade, we are pretty much reinforcing a lot of the things you should’ve done in 9th and 10th,” English Department Chair Whitney Lopez said. “We only add in a couple little things here and there that are new, but ideally the basis of what you should learn as a student we can test for by the end of 10th grade.”

Due to the break in the exams being proctored, this will be a new process for many administrators and teachers.

“I anticipate that the exam or process of administering the exam will go very well,” English 10/11 teacher Pier Shoates said,” It may be easier than having to actually create an exam from scratch. However, I am concerned that because it is not an exam I created, will the students be well prepared for it.

According to the Nevada Department of Education, “End of Course (EOC) examinations measure how well a student understands the subject they are enrolled in.”

“We use it, especially for teachers, as a means of understanding where the student stands and it also helps us look at practice,” Lopez said, ”For example, if we missed out on something in 9th and 10th grade then we know that with students going into 11th and 12th that’s where we need to make sure that students are getting those opportunities to reinforce those skills.”

End of course exams will be incorporated into the student’s semester exam score with their grade calculated using 47.5% of their grade from each quarter and the 5% that the exam is worth.

“I just feel that it’s really unexpected because I haven’t seen any of the other classes before me talk about it,” sophomore William Deng said.” I’m worried because I don’t know if it’ll be easy or hard. It makes it hard because there’s barely any information on it.”

Despite the sudden decision to reinstate the test, students are still expected to be prepared as the exam tests criteria they should have been taught. These exams are aligned to the Common Core Standards, which are the guiding standards for both courses.

I am not comfortable administering an assessment that I did not have any input on creating. I would much rather give students a test of my own design so that I can assess specific standards instead of a broad, generic overview of the entire course,” Algebra I teacher Kristin Landau said. 

With little information being given by the district at this moment, teachers are making due with what they have.

“I feel like the exam itself is pretty solid in terms of what it should measure,” English Teacher Maritza De La Fuente said. “I don’t really agree with the fact that it’s only one grade level, but I also understand as they’re rolling it out again, they’re kind of dipping their toes in the water. I feel like as long as they’re transparent about what the percentages are for and how it works with parents, staff, and students, there shouldn’t be a problem.”