School board president says exit exam scoring likely to be overhauled

Posted: Wednesday, February 07, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- State school board President Susan Stitham says new passing scores for the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam are ''very likely.''

''I think we are going to see some recommendations that will change the composition of the test,'' Stitham told the Fairbanks school board Tuesday night. ''I think it is very likely that we will have new cut scores.''

Content review committees met in Anchorage last week to review the state standards in reading, writing and math, as well as the exit exam and passing scores.

Stitham said that, while the committees confirmed that the state standards are on target, they were skeptical that the exit exam accurately reflects what students need to know by graduation.

According to state law, all students graduating after 2001 will be required to pass the exit exam in order to receive a diploma.

Failure rates have been high so far and legislators are considering delaying the implementation of the test requirement.

Gov. Tony Knowles has introduced a bill that would delay until 2006 a requirement that students pass the exit exam. This year's seventh-graders would be the first class required to pass the test if legislators agree to change the deadline.

Stitham said the content review committees will be meeting again in April before making formal recommendations to the state.

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