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Title: The%20High%20School%20Graduation%20Qualifying%20Exam

The High School Graduation Qualifying Exam
  • A Refresher

This Presentation Will Include
  • Why do this presentation?
  • Why Have an Exit Exam?
  • The Original Law
  • 1997 - 2001
  • Efforts to Delay
  • Issues and Debates SB 133
  • Whats the Law?
  • 2001 2004
  • Funding
  • What are Todays Issues?
  • Why a High Stakes Test?
  • 2004 Seniors
  • Practice Test
  • Wrap-Up Discussion

Why Do This Presentation?
  • Seniors must pass this year.
  • Law and regulations are somewhat complex.

Why Did We Need An Exit Exam?
  • Problems at the University
  • Students needed remedial classes and got no
  • Students graduations were delayed.
  • Students dropped out.
  • UA wanted reimbursement from Funding Formula.
  • Problems in the Workplace
  • Young people couldnt find or keep jobs.
  • Employers couldnt find qualified employees.
  • Angry employers wouldnt support increased

Requirements of the 1997 Legislation
  • Goals
  • Teach and learn essential skills
  • Every diploma will have worth
  • Reduce University costs
  • Increase employability
  • Major Aspects
  • Empowered DEED to create a test
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Three years limit to pass after graduation
  • Effective 2002

What happened between 1997 2001?
  • DEED created the HSGQE and the Benchmark Exams
  • Praxis Teachers Exams
  • School Designators Grading the Schools
  • Some districts aligned curriculum offered
    remediation, others did not.
  • Legislature funded LOGs and Quality Schools Grants

2001 - Efforts to Delay the Exam
  • Arguments for delaying the exam
  •  Math test too hard
  •  Special Education students
  •  No curriculum alignment
  •  Lack of funding

Hard Work to Get it Right --
Twenty-three Total Hearings
  • Three Senate Versions
  • Senate HESS
  • Senate Finance
  • Senate Floor Amendments
  • Five House Versions
  • House Special Committee on Education
  • House HESS
  • House Finance
  • House Rules

SB 133 The Debate and the Issues
  • Much Debate on Technical Issues
  • Legal Issues
  • Special Education Students
  • Curriculum Alignment
  • Funding
  • Remediation
  • Fairness
  • Bottom Line Accountability, Fairness Funding

Legal Issues
  • Validity and Reliability of the Test
  • Test must measure what is taught.
  • Passing and failing scores must reflect students
  • Opportunity to Learn
  • Students must be taught what is on the test.
  • Opportunity to Test
  • Students must have a chance to take the test.

Special Education Students
  • Severely Disabled, Intensive Needs Students
  • 2 of special education student population
  • Retardation, autism, etc.
  • Learn basic living skills
  • Not on diploma track
  • Other Special Education Students
  • Comprise 98 of special education student
  • Average or above average intelligence
  • Dyslexia, blindness, deafness, etc.
  • Federally entitled to access to general
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Entitled to accommodations and valid

Curriculum Alignment All Levels Depend on Each
Funding to Prepare for Exam
47.9 Million
And More Funding
16.8 Million
Over 64.7 Million Over and above the Foundation
Formula In State Money Only Since 1999
  • Curriculum alignment
  • Student remediation

What Does the Law Say? (See SB 133 from 2001)
  •  Effective Date of February 1, 2004
  • Certificate of Achievement
  • Unlimited Time to Pass Tests
  • Special Education Students
  • Two Required Reports
  • Waivers Appeals

Effective Date of February 1, 2004
  • Public school seniors must pass all three
    sections for a diploma this year
  • If they graduate in May
  • January graduates do not have to pass.
  • Severely disabled students are exempted
  • If IEP exempts them from test
  • Will receive diploma if their districts policies
    allow it.

Certificate of Achievement
  • Changed from Certificate of Attendance
  • Now will include
  • the portions of the test the student passed
  • the student's attendance record
  • other qualifications of the student the district
    determines appropriate.

Unlimited Time to Pass Tests
  • Original law set a three year limit for students
    to pass the test after leaving school.
  • Now, there is no time limit
  • May take test when offered
  • Must pay districts costs

Special Education Students
  • Federal law requires all special ed students to
    participate in statewide tests.
  • Regular HSGQE with accommodations or
  • Alternative test for severely disabled.
  • IEP team chooses accommodations and
  • No diploma if modifications invalidate test.
  • Students do not have to be re-tested if their IEP
    team recommends against it.

First of Two Required Reports
  • To the Legislature (AS 14.03.078)
  • The Thick Report delivered every February 15
  • Information in the Report Card to the Public
  • Number of students who pass each section of the
  • Progress in implementing school accountability
  • Resources for schools improvement activities and
    staff training
  • Schools progress in aligning curriculum
  • DEEDs efforts to assist schools that are
    deficient or in crisis
  • Schools intervention efforts for students not
    meeting standards
  • Turnover in certificated personnel and
  • Number of teachers teaching outside area of
    endorsement in reading, writing and math.

Second Required Report
  • To the Public (AS 14.03.120)
  • Report Card to the Public available every
    January 15th
  • Districts goals and priorities plans to achieve
    and measure them.
  • Must encourage all members of the community to
  • Online by school at http//
  • Includes
  • Information on accreditation
  • Results of tests
  • Description of community involvement
  • Description of attendance, retention, dropout,
    graduation rates
  • How many students received a diploma under a
  • Enrollment changes
  • Native language instruction
  • How many students complete alternative assessment
    program but do not meet state standards in
    reading, writing or math.

Waivers Appeals (AS 14.07.165 and 4 AAC
06.772-774, 777,780, 789)
  • Waiver from requirement to pass test
  • Granted by the school district if the student
  • Enters an Alaskan school for the first time
    during senior year.
  • Passed a substantially similar test in another
  • Experiences a rare and unusual circumstance--
    illness, parents death, uncorrectable system
  • Appeal
  • If denied a waiver, student may appeal to DEED.
  • If DEED also denies waiver, student may sue in
    Superior Court.

2001 - 2004
  • SB 133 passed and was signed.
  • Test re-written to reflect essential skills.
  • New cut scores were adopted.
  • All districts finished aligning their curriculum.
  • Truancy has declined.
  • Passing rates have risen.
  • More targeted remediation has been offered.
  • Waivers and Appeals Regulations were adopted.

What are the Issues Now?
A Question of Fairness????
  • My child passed all her classes and should get a
  • Social promotion does not serve students well.
  • My child has disabilities and should get his
  • 98 have average or above average intelligence.
  • Federal law guarantees access to general
    curriculum the high stakes exam is making sure
    that happens now.
  • A rising tide raises all students up.
  • My child needs a diploma to succeed in life.
  • University of Alaska has open enrollment.
  • Military is an option when recruitment is low.
  • Many without a diploma have achieved success.
  • Certificate of Achievement will describe
    students skills.

Why Must the HSGQE Remain a High Stakes Test?
  • Public confidence in our schools.
  • Student confidence in their education.
  • Continued incentives for improvement.
  • At risk students get the help they need.
  • Special education students get access to general
  • Accountability More Funding

Real Benefits for Students
  • Receiving more and better remediation.
  • During and after-school tutoring
  • Online remediation programs
  • Summer school programs
  • Commitment to Achieve
  • Taking the test seriously
  • Better attendance
  • Participating in tutoring and other activities

2004 Seniors The Data
  • At least 76 of Seniors Have Already Passed
  • Does not include
  • Likely waiver students.
  • Students not on diploma track.
  • Students without enough credits to graduate
    (about 10 per year in Anchorage).
  • Next test is February 17-19, 2004.

Geographical Diversity
  • Top Five Pass Rates
  • Pelican 100
  • St. Marys 100
  • Yakutat 100
  • Yupiit 100
  • Wrangell 94
  • Bottom Five Pass Rates
  • Iditarod 30
  • Yukon Flats 35
  • Lower Yukon 38
  • Chugach 43
  • Bering Strait 47
  • Some Urban Schools Success Rate
  • Anchorage 76
  • Fairbanks 85
  • Kenai 85
  • Juneau 80

Practice Test
  • Developed by educators and DEED
  • Please pick up copies of
  • Practice Test
  • Test Blueprint
  • Proficiency Descriptors.
  • Is it fair to set the bar lower?
  • Passing Scores
  • Reading 275-383
  • Writing 275-386
  • Math 328-404

  • Alaska needs a high stakes exit exam.
  • The exam is fair, valid, and reliable.
  • The exam has fostered real change in our schools.
  • If we remove high stakes, its very likely much
    of that change will erode.

Thank you!