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High School-Level STEM Initiatives: State Requires or Makes Available End-of-Course Exams in STEM Disciplines

Why does it matter?
  • Calling a course "Biology" or "Algebra I" does not ensure a common level of content from one classroom to the next.
  • Implementing statewide end-of-course assessments serves as a means of consistently evaluating the rigor of content in high school courses across a state.

  • Highlights

    Twenty-five states currently administer end-of-course exams in one or more STEM subjects, or are planning to do so.

    Subjects Tested:
  • Algebra I: 18 states
  • Biology: 18 states
  • Algebra II: 16 states
  • Geometry: 12 states

  • Other less frequently tested subjects include physics, chemistry and physical science.

    Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agency Web sites, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Last updated: June 2008

    This database was compiled by Kyle Zinth, policy analyst, ECS Information Clearinghouse. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3673 or kzinth@ecs.org.


    State requires or makes available end-of-course exams in STEM disciplines
    Arkansas Yes, Algebra I and Geometry. Biology I beginning 2007-08 school year. Additionally, the state will begin administering an Algebra II end-of-course assessment in Spring of 2008.
    District of Columbia Yes, District is developing end-of-course exams in Algebra I, geometry, biology and physics (or chemistry).
    Georgia Yes, state administers end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Geometry, Biology and Physical Science.
    Indiana Yes, end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Algebra II and Biology I are operational. A student in a Core 40 class should take the related end-of-course assessment. The Core 40 curriculum will become Indiana's default high school curriculum effective with the Class of 2011 (entering freshmen in fall 2007).
    Kentucky Yes, the state is in the process of piloting end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.
    Louisiana Yes, state is phasing in end-of-course exams in eight subjects, starting with Algebra I during the 2007-08 school year. End-of-course exams in Geometry and Biology are to be developed and phased in over a six-year period starting in 2007. In the first years of administration, district participation will be voluntary.
    Maryland Yes, state has exit exams in Algebra/Data Analysis and Biology. Additionally, the state will administer an Algebra II exam beginning in May 2008.
    Massachusetts Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics and Technology/Engineering. Additionally, the state will administer an Algebra II exam beginning in May 2008.
    Michigan Yes, by the 2008-09 school year, exams will be developed in a number of high school subjects, including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Data and Statistics, Earth Science, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
    Minnesota Yes, state will administer an end-of-course exam in life sciences beginning in Spring 2008.
    Mississippi Yes, Algebra I and Biology I.
    Missouri Yes, A February 2007 state board decision requires end-of-course exams to be developed in Algebra I and Biology. These exams are to be piloted the 2007-08 school year and implemented in 2008-09. The state also plans to develop end-of-course assessments in Algebra II, Geometry, Integrated Mathematics II and III, Physical Science and Chemistry by 2010.
    New Jersey Yes, end-of-course biology and Algebra II assessments will first be administered in spring 2008.
    New York Yes, state administered Regents Examinations include assessment in Mathematics A, Mathematics B, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science and Living Environment.
    North Carolina Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Physical Science.
    Ohio Yes, state will administer an Algebra II end-of-course assessment beginning in 2008.
    Oklahoma Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Biology I.
    Pennsylvania Yes, state will administer an Algebra II end-of-course assessment beginning in 2008.
    Rhode Island Yes, state will administer an end-of-course exam in Algebra II starting in 2008.
    South Carolina Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Math for the Technologies 2 and Physical Science. Pending department support from the General Assembly, a revised Biology end-of-course assessment will be piloted in spring 2008 and implemented in spring 2009.
    Tennessee Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Math for Technology II, Math Foundations I, Biology I, Biology for Technology and Physical Science.
    Texas Yes, state administers exit exams in Algebra I, Geometry and Biology. Additional exit exams are expected to be implemented in the coming years in Chemistry (2009), Physics (2010) and Algebra II (2011).
    Utah Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Pre-Algebra, Elementary Algebra, Geometry, Applied Math I & II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science. 2007 H.B. 155 directs an end-of-course exam in Intermediate Algebra to be developed.
    Virginia Yes, state administers end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry.
    West Virginia Yes, state will administer an Algebra I end-of-course, beginning in 2008-09.


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