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Grade change for end-of-course exams at EHS

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EIS decides on 15 percent for final exams

By Kelly Cantrall

A recent state requirement now matters to students at Elizabethtown High School more than ever.

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The Elizabethtown Independent Schools board voted Monday night to change the grading policy for end-of-course exams at the high school. The tests will count for 15 percent of final grades for students, instead of the previous 10 percent.

The exams now are required by the state in sophomore English, Algebra II, biology and U.S. history classes. Along with counting toward the students’ grades, the exams are part of annual state assessments.

The Kentucky Department of Education recommends the exams count for 20 percent of a student’s grade, and Elizabethtown High School officials originally planned to give them that weight. But they asked the board in February to change the weight to 10 percent. Principal Steve Smallwood said at the time teachers and students were nervous about tests counting for so much.

Superintendent Gary French said at Monday’s meeting high school students were successful on the tests in the spring.

Smallwood said the school hopes to increase the weight to 20 percent next year.

“We’re just taking small steps to get it to that 20 percent,” he said.

ACT Inc. was contracted to create the exams for Kentucky. The department of education shared its standards for the courses with ACT, and ACT has shared resources for teachers to help prepare students for the tests. Those four courses were chosen because they are core high school subjects.

The grade policy change unanimously was approved by the board. There was no discussion on the issue.

The three high schools in Hardin County Schools count the exams as 10 percent of the students’ final grades in the four classes.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.