State changes Algebra 2 EOC and PERT

Editor’s note: The author of this article is Nicole Binder’s daughter. Content has been edited to maintain objectivity

Several changes to standardized testing will go into effect this year. The Algebra 2 End of Course exam will be eliminated, meaning students from now on will no longer have to take the exam, but the situation is different for students who have already taken the exam.

“We had to come up with something to level the playing field for any student who should’ve taken the test in the spring or earlier,” SDHC’s Assessment and Accountability Director Nicole Binder said. “So, we created an online Algebra 2 test administered via SchoolCity.”

The SchoolCity test will have the same scale as the Algebra 2 EOC.

Impact on schools

However, the elimination of this EOC exam doesn’t only impact students; it impacts schools as well.

The Algebra 2 EOC previously played a part in determining school grades, along with other factors. “Since many students now take Algebra and even Geometry in middle school, the population of students taking a math course which counts for school grade in high school has shrunk dramatically,” Binder said. “By using fewer students from the school to count for a grade, the grade itself isn’t truly accurate of what teachers are doing with the entire student body.”

The Florida Department of Education, FLDOE, decided to remove Algebra 2 from the required EOC test list after public input. “Many felt that the test was too hard,” Binder said of the choice. “Other than removing the Algebra 2 test, nothing else really changed for the requirements of testing.”

Swapping PERT for PSAT

Aside from the Algebra 2 EOC changes, adjustments to the PERT test came up as well. The FLDOE debated replacing the PERT test for the PSAT.

“While this is an accepted way to create concordant or comparative scores, it severely limited the number of students who would meet their graduation requirement,” Binder said. “If the PERT option goes away, as suggested by the FLDOE, many more students will not graduate simply because they will not have the opportunity to test.”

The reason why students would have a smaller opportunity to test with the PSAT is because, currently, the PSAT is only offered to students one time a year, while the PERT is offered every other month. For the time being, the PERT test has not been replaced by the PSAT.

“If there is a shift to the PSAT only to meet the math graduation requirement, the test should be offered multiple times,” Binder said.

All these changes to testing, state and county wide will begin to go into effect this school year.

Editor’s note: The author of this article is Nicole Binder’s daughter. Content has been edited to maintain objectivity.