EOC exams to be taken soon; students will miss class time

Study+Time%3A+Senior+Jake+Gallagher+studies+in+the+media+center+on+Tuesday%2C+Dec.+10.+Finals+week+begins+next+Monday%2C+Dec.+16.

Study Time: Senior Jake Gallagher studies in the media center on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Finals week begins next Monday, Dec. 16.

Ross Parks

Study Time: Senior Jake Gallagher studies in the media center on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Finals week begins next Monday, Dec. 16.
Senior Jake Gallagher studies in the media center last winter. 
End-of-course assessments are making another appearance this spring in record numbers. With freshmen finishing their first year on campus, RBHS has been exposed to a larger number of EOC takers than before.
“I think they said it was going to be two different classes until the last person gets done,” sophomore Makenzie Montie said, who admitted that EOCs she has taken in the past such as Algebra I and physics weren’t too difficult, “but they are kind of early in the year like the unit we haven’t learned yet is going to be on the test. So I’m kind of worried about that.”
Montie, an Honors Biology student, said the class hasn’t yet been able to complete the entire course’s sections and with the test approaching, their class still has to complete an entire chapter of instruction. However, such a situation would appear to be common among all EOCs despite the subject.
“In high school we used to give [students] tests for tenth grade, ninth grade and eighth grade knowledge,” Science Department Chair and Honors Anatomy teacher Melissa Wessel said. “So at some point the state decided that … these MAP [Missouri Assessment Program] tests didn’t make sense. It made more sense to test the kids over the subject they had just taken.”
In order to better accommodate the absolute removal of MAP testing, the school adopted the most recently state-mandated EOCs. However, the element of timing remains a problem for either system.
“So now, everybody who graduates here takes three EOCs,” Wessel said. “It’s always been the same time of year, the end but not really the end of the year because you haven’t taught everything you were going to teach or learn all you are going to learn for that year.”
Overall, the tests appear to transition as any routine, with little change in how it is delivered to students, who are simply occupying the same desks in a different building. The test has moved location, along with the students.
“The EOC exams are state mandated, so the content is chosen by the Department of Secondary Education,” Honors Language Composition and AP World teacher Katherine Sasser said. “We lose two days of instructional time as the administration of the exams require that time.”
It seems that routine has taken the incoming students safely under its pre-planned and state-mandated wing. With or without the full curriculum, students will take the exams within the next two weeks.
“In terms of percentage of the grade, I want to say and you’d have to check, but last year, it counted as five percent of their second semester grade,” Wessel said. “That [rule] was across the district.”
Even with the routine firmly planted in even the new areas of RBHS, many students don’t understand why the tests are required before all of the subject matter is covered. Nevertheless, they will be expected to take the test with or without the full year of curriculum.
“They definitely should have waited until we have all the information, since we haven’t even started our last unit,” Montie said. “If they would have given us a study guide or a list of everything… that’d been nice.”
By Ross Parks