Under a recommendation by Mississippi Education Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright, seniors who don’t pass an exam could still graduate. Students would continue to take the English II, Algebra, Biology and U.S. History tests. Instead, their scores would count for a percentage of the student’s final course grades.
The superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District thinks that change could create confusion for students.
“The concern that I have with this is, right now, we don’t receive test scores back until July typically. This year, it may even be later. So we have children who will take a course that will end in May, but their parents may not know the fate of their performance until the middle of the summer,” said Wayne Rodolfich.
“We would have children who finish a class in the spring and would not get a score until the summer and our teachers are not under contract during the summer in order to calculate what their score was to give the parents these grades,” he added.
Rodolfich believes the ACT provides a better gauge of how prepared students are for college or careers. Plus, he says the ACT is more comprehensive, it takes less time, and it could lead to more money for college.
“It takes half a day to take an ACT. Right now, we’re spending a week taking Subject Area Tests. We’re doing two phases of testing this semester. Number two, we receive scholarship dollars as a result of doing well on the ACT. We don’t receive any money for Subject Area Testing, but we spend a disproportionate time preparing for those tests,” said Rodolfich.