End Of Course Tests: Are They Fulfilling Their Intended Purpose?

1746 words - 7 pages

End of Course Tests (EOCs) have been around for a few years. EOCs were not always been mandated for every public school, well that was until 2009-2010 when the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) came along (Haynie 1).These tests are a dreaded topic to most public school students in various states, especially those in North Carolina. The tests are especially horrible for a student at Middle Creek High School. Well at least they are in my opinion. In the beginning the tests were used to make sure students learned the required material throughout the school year. Nevertheless, after the NCDPI stepped in giving EOCs for eight classes taken in high school (Haynie 1). These tests are given at the end of each of the eight courses to see how well the students master each subject (Haynie 1). This was their intended purpose but they did not end up that way. The tests became transformed into a way to determine the graduation eligibility of a student. Nevertheless, EOCs do not challenge the students; they are merely an attempt for the school recognition due to high-test scores. EOCs do not need to be gotten rid of but modified because they have problems like any other test. The tests do not challenge the students because they lack rigor, are not fair to students on each academic level, and are a waste of money.
Each class taught in a public high school should have rigor. This should be especially true in the eight classes that require an EOC. Rigor is something that is challenging and that allows the student to think critically. Having the students think critically will allow them to master the subject instead of memorizing the information to pass a test. Memorizing information does not benefit the student; they are only storing the information in their short-term memory. Lynn Olson makes arguments against rigor in the article “States Turn to End-of-Course Tests to Bolster High School Curriculum”. She states, “Maryland is one of the dozen states that either have or are preparing such curriculum-based exams as a way to strengthen the high school curriculum and ensure that all students have mastered a core body of knowledge and skills” (Olson, par. 2). She believes that the EOCs are helping strengthen the curriculum. Jim Watts, the vice president of Southern Regional Education Board, says “A lot of this is not just about testing; it’s about recognizing high schools to make certain that challenging curriculum is offered to all students” (qtd. in Olson, par. 3). In his opinion, he thinks that high schools have enough rigor. I disagree with this statement.
In my opinion, EOCs are too easy; these tests are for every student to pass. This means that no matter your academic level you have a chance to pass the EOCs. I know this was a problem for me throughout schools. I was always the student that was in the Honors classes and worked hard to succeed. Studying usually came easy to me so I did not put that much effort into it. When the EOCs...

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