Mo. High Schools Concerned About Newly Required Exams

6 years 8 months 2 days ago Wednesday, April 13 2011 Apr 13, 2011 Wednesday, April 13, 2011 12:11:00 PM CDT April 13, 2011 in News
By: Lindsay Cooper

ASHLAND - A new proposal for intensifying high school standards has been announced, which leaves many Missouri schools questioning the changes.

The Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) was a system implemented in 1950 to ensure high quality schools. This will be the fifth change, which is being called MSIP 5. One of the main issues being raised with the changes is the added End of Course Exams (EOC Exams). This change would require all high school students to take exams at the end of their courses in the areas of math, communication arts, science and social studies.  Dale VanDeven, Principal of Southern Boone County High School, said the big concerns are exams in upper-level courses, such as Chemistry and Physics. 

VanDeven said these courses don't coincide with career aspirations for some students, so making them take the courses doesn't seem fair.

"We are accountable for every student and the concern would be that...it doesn't take into account their diversity," VanDeven said.

These standards are supposed to help Missouri's goal of 10 by 20, which is the hope that Missouri will fall in the top 10 of all 50 states by the year 2020 in terms of education and performance. Right now, Missouri schools rank somewhere in the middle.

The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) is against the new standards set up by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Todd Fuller, MSTA Spokesperson, said there was a former MSIP 5 created about a year ago with teacher input that was scrapped by DESE's commissioner before the new plan was created. He said the course exams are a good idea, but they leave out key areas such as music, physical education and art.

Steven Babcock, a student at Southern Boone County High School, said he thinks students who are driven to succeed would see the new exams as a good thing, but those doing well in classes might think a final exam covering the entire course material might be unfair and difficult to prepare for.

A publication of the revised standards will be published on the DESE website and will allow a 30-day period of formal comment from the public beginning April 15.

 

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