State drops passing end-of-course exams as graduation requirement

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 4/14/21

CLAY COUNTY – A new executive order from the state’s educational leader changes the way seniors will graduate from high school and eliminates the requirement for third grade students to …

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State drops passing end-of-course exams as graduation requirement

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – A new executive order from the state’s educational leader changes the way seniors will graduate from high school and eliminates the requirement for third grade students to pass an assessment test to be promoted to fourth grade.

This executive order from Florida Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the 2020-21 school year, which has been unlike any year in modern educational history. The new order gives more power to the schools by removing the requirement that seniors and third graders pass state assessments tests to move forward.

“The Department of Education Executive Order NO.2021-EO-01 provides districts with flexibility in many areas as a result of this extraordinary and unprecedented school year,” official wording from the Clay County School District reads. “The order as currently interpreted allows Seniors to graduate based on their cumulative high school academic performance and not on one individual assessment. The emergency order provides flexibility when it pertains to students completing the end of course exams.”

The end-of-course exams that traditionally account for 30% of a student’s final grade. This year, the only way they’ll affect a student’s grade is if the exam affects the grade positively. The courses that have EOC exams are geometry, biology, civics and U.S. history.

In regards to third graders and how this executive order affects them, it “allows for the District through the good cause exemption or portfolio process to demonstrate a student’s mastery of the standards as they progress to the next grade level,” according to the CCSD.

In light of such a strange year for education, Clay Today asked the school district how it plans to help students who’ve fallen behind as a result of the stress and challenges created by the pandemic.

“Clay County District Schools is committed to providing support to struggling students in a plethora of programs and initiatives: summer reading camp instruction, summer virtual reading and math interventions, and summer credit and grade recovery for sixth through 12th grade students that have significant gaps in achievement,” CCSD told Clay Today. “All of these supports are also coupled with current safety nets such as weekend enrichment programs, Edgenuity grade recovery, and current school-based tutoring opportunities for students.”

School districts across the state may opt in to have one or more 2020-21 school grades, or school improvement ratings, apply for all statutory purposes and in order to be eligible to opt in, a school must test 90% or more of its eligible students. Schools that choose not to opt-in will retain the pre-COVID-19 school grade ratings they once held.

“I appreciate the flexibility that the emergency order officers school districts as we continue to provide the best educational experiences for our students,” CCSD Superintendent David Broskie said. “This has been a unique school year and I am extremely proud of our teachers, support staff and school leaders that have worked tirelessly on behalf of the students of Clay County.”

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