State Assessments as Graduation Requirements

What do the Smarter Balanced Assessments mean for students nearing graduation?

  • Our high school students have been exposed to the new state standards and related instruction changes for a very short time. The first graduating class that will need to meet standard on the Smarter Balanced assessments in order to graduate is the class of 2019. That’s the 8th grade class of 2014-15.

    But, beginning this year, 2014-2015, tenth and eleventh graders will have the opportunity to take the new assessments. This helps schools, the district and the state determine what’s working well with the test, and what needs to change. It also will establish the new benchmark that schools will be evaluated on for adequate yearly progress.

    The graphic below shows which tests a student must pass in order to graduate as we move toward 2019. Some things to remember:

    • Smarter Balanced scores may be used for graduation in some cases, but other assessments (see the grid below) will be the primary graduation tests through 2018.
    • Beginning in 2014-15, 10th graders can take an ELA Exit Exam.
    • In 2019, only the Smarter Balanced assessments will determine graduation.
    • Students who do not pass or who miss a required test will be offered several makeup test opportunities.
    • Students who are failing or who receive special education services will be offered a range of alternatives for meeting graduation requirements.

    (Click image for a larger version)

    State Assessments as Graduation Requirements