By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
The fate of the U.S. History end-of-course exam for Mississippi is still up in the air.
The Mississippi State Board of Education declared at its meeting earlier this month that more research is still necessary on the impact of removing the exam.
The Mississippi Department of Education will work with the Accountability Task Force to research those possibilities.
This comes on the heels of a public comment period that saw MDE receive 108 written comments, with 27 favoring the exam being kept, 42 supporting dropping it, and 39 comments considered off-topic or unclear.
MDE was presented with a recommendation in August to drop the U.S. History end-of-course exam, the only exam among the state’s four that is not required by federal law.
Opinion polls of teachers by the Mississippi Student Testing Task Force and the Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center showed strong majority support for dropping the exam, as well as a held opinion that there is too much testing at the district and state levels.
The continued research will be necessary as the U.S. History exam still factors into state accountability which measures a school district’s performance and helps MDE determine areas of attention.
The task force will meet on Dec. 6, but it is unknown if they will present their findings at that time.
MDE has emphasized throughout the process that any change to the status of the U.S. History exam will not affect U.S. History as a course of study. The course will still be required for graduation.