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State High School Exams To Delay Some First Semester Grades

CMS high school students may find a bunch of incompletes on their report cards when they get them back in a couple weeks.  It’s not their fault.  State exams will delay some first semester grades.  

High school students are taking several new state exams this week.  They’re designed to measure how much teachers get their students to learn.  To make sure kids take them seriously, the tests count for 20 percent of a student’s grade. 

CMS can get the actual numerical scores back quickly, but figuring out what should count as an A or B or C is going to take some time.  The district is waiting on the state for this. 

“They need to re-norm the test to get enough scores across the state to figure out what those comparisons are,” says Frank Barnes, CMS’s Chief Accountability Officer. 

Barnes thought the district might be able to get that data back in time for report cards. 

“We were hoping that they could accelerate their pace, being that we’re a little bit behind the rest of the state as far as when our term ends, thus, when we test.  That wasn’t the case, so we had to take appropriate contingencies,” says Barnes.    

That means giving students incompletes in subjects covered by these tests.  There are thirty of them.  The state expects to determine the test grades later this month or early February.  Seniors who need those classes to graduate early won’t have to wait on the state.  CMS will calculate their grades without the tests. 

CMS does have the option to apply its own grading rubric to the tests and issue report cards without incompletes.  Several other districts are doing that.  But Barnes says CMS wants to make sure its grading is consistent with the state’s.