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About Secondary Assessment Tests

“Old” High School Examinations Policy*

*Important Note:

This policy is no longer current but is included here for students who entered high school prior to the 2009-2010 school year.

In the old High School End of Course Tests Policy, renamed the High School Examinations Policy in August, 2002, the State Board stipulated that beginning with students entering the 9th grade in 2001-2002, students must successfully pass examinations in three subject areas - Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts - in order to earn a high school diploma. These examinations, called Gateway Tests, were intended to raise the academic bar for all high school students and add accountability for students' academic performance. In the 2001-2002 school year, the Department of Education began to administer the Gateway Tests three times annually to accommodate students completing work in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Tests were not given other than at these scheduled times.

In implementing the Gateway Tests, the Department provided forms calibration assessments for Algebra I and Biology I in Spring 2001. Seventh and eighth graders taking Algebra I in 2000-2001 were included in the forms calibration; however, this administration did not count as an official administration of the Gateway Tests. Additional field testing for the End of Course tests began with Math Foundations II in Spring 2001, English I in Spring 2002, United States History and Physical Science in Spring 2004.

The old High School Examinations Policy stated "Local boards of education will determine how to use the results of end of course exams in accordance with guidelines to be developed by the State Board of Education." The State Board Policy as of September 20, 2001 under the section titled "Elements of the Program," element 1.d read as follows:

Results of individual student performance from all administered end of course tests including the three gateway examinations shall be provided to the individual teacher in a timely fashion to facilitate the inclusion of these results as part of the student's grade in that subject. This result shall count not less than fifteen percent of the student's grade in the semester in which the test was administered.

As noted in the policy, the three Gateway tests: Mathematics (Algebra I and Math for Technology II), Language Arts (English II) and Science (Biology I and Biology for Technology II) fall under the above guideline.