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High School-Level Assessments: End-of-Course and/or Exit Exams Used for NCLB Accountability

Why does it matter? States need to use assessments that are meaningful for students but that also meet the testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, states must assess at least once in English language arts (or reading) and math at the high school level; effective with the 2007-2008 school year, states will additionally be required to administer science assessments at least once during grades 10-12. Of the 27 states that currently have an exit exam and/or end-of-course assessments, all but three—Alaska, New Mexico and Texas—use these assessments as the high school assessments required by NCLB.

All sources for all data points are available through this link.

Last updated: April 11, 2007

Information collected by Jennifer Dounay, 303.299.3689, jdounay@ecs.org

End-of-course and/or exit exam used for NCLB
Alabama Yes—Alabama High School Graduation Exam (exit exam, grade 11)
Alaska No—items for the grade 10 Standards Based Assessment and High School Graduation Qualifying Examination (HSGQE) are scored separately. Results from the standards based grade 10 exam are used to determine adequate yearly progress—items from the HSGQE are not.
Arizona Yes—Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS (exit exam, grade 10)
Arkansas Yes—end-of-course assessments in Algebra I and geometry (combined), literacy (and biology starting spring 2008)
California Yes—California High School Exit Examination (exit exam, math and English language arts, grade 10)
Colorado No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Connecticut No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Delaware No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
District of Columbia No—district has end-of-course assessments but accountability workbook does not mention that these are used for NCLB accountability.
Florida Yes—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT (exit exam, reading, math, grades 9 and 10 [grade 9 assessment not used as exit exam]; writing, grade 10)
Georgia Yes—Enhanced High School Graduation Tests (E-GHSGT) in English/Language Arts and Math (exit exam, grade 11).
Hawaii No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Idaho Yes—Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (exit exam, reading and math, grade 10)
Illinois No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Indiana Yes—Graduation Qualifying Exam (GQE) (exit exam, English language arts and math, grade 10)
Iowa No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Kansas No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Kentucky No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam at this time.
Louisiana Yes—Graduation Exit Exam for the 21st Century (exit exam, English and math, grade 10, science, grade 11)
Maine No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Maryland Yes—High School Assessment (end-of-course, English 2 and algebra/data analysis. These will also be exit exams effective with the Class of 2009.)
Massachusetts Yes—Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS (exit exam, English language arts and math, grade 10)
Michigan No—state does not currently have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Minnesota Yes—MCA-II (Reading grade 10, Math grade 11)
Mississippi Yes—Subject Area Testing Program (end-of-course and exit exams, English II, Algebra I, grade levels may vary)
Missouri No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam at this time.
Montana No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Nebraska No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Nevada Yes—High School Proficiency Exams (exit exam, reading and math, grade 10)
New Hampshire No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
New Jersey Yes—High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) (exit exam, grade 11)
New Mexico No—rather than using the exit exam, the New Mexico High School Competency Exam, the state uses grades 9 and 11 New Mexico Standards-Based Assessment.
New York Yes—Regents comprehensive examination in English or a Regents mathematics examination (examinations are end-of-course and also exit examinations).
North Carolina Yes—state uses "combination of the English I End-of-Course test and the Grade 10 Writing Assessment, and the Algebra I End-of-Course test in grade 10." Students whose course of study does not require them to take the Algebra I End-of-Course tests take the NC High School Comprehensive Test of Mathematics.
North Dakota No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Ohio Yes—Ohio Graduation Test (exit exam, reading and math, grade 10)
Oklahoma Yes—English II and Algebra I end-of-instruction assessments (end-of-course, grade level varies. These end-of-course exams will also become exit exams effective with the Class of 2012.)
Oregon No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Pennsylvania No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Puerto Rico Unclear as to whether the Pruebas Puertorriqueñas de Aprovechamiento Académico (PPAA) are end-of-course and/or exit exams.
Rhode Island No—state does not have statewide end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
South Carolina Yes—High School Assessment Program (HSAP) (exit exam, grade 10)
South Dakota No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Tennessee Yes—Gateway English II and Algebra I (end-of-course and exit exams).
Texas No—rather than using the grade 11 exit exam, the state uses the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS, grade 10).
Utah Yes—end-of-course exams (English Language Arts, Algebra and Geometry, grades 10-12, whenever student takes course). State technically does not have an exit exam since students who have not passed all subtests by the end of their senior year may still receive a diploma.
Vermont No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Virginia Yes—Standards of Learning (SOL, exit exam/end-of-course, grade levels vary)
Washington Yes—Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL, exit exam, grade 10)
West Virginia No—state does have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam at this time.
Wisconsin No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.
Wyoming No—state does not have end-of-course assessments or an exit exam.


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