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Release the EOC: Audience, Problem, and Goals

My audience is primarily made up of my fellow teachers who are also teaching US History in South Carolina high schools.  Hopefully, this campaign will get enough exposure to where this presentation gets the attention of parents, legislators, and other stakeholders and policymakers.

The problem is that the South Carolina Department of Education administers an annual End of Course (EOC) exam at the end of each year that counts for 20% of each student's grade.  About half of South Carolina students fail this exam each year, as compared to about 20-30% of students who take similar state exams in Biology, Algebra I, and English.  Given the excessive failure rate on this exam, it seems that we would be having a serious dialogue about the quality of this assessment, but that is impossible because the state will not release the exam.  Releasing exams is not unheard of, as New York releases its Regents Exam every time it is administered.  Until South Carolina follows suit and releases a full copy of the EOC exam, we can never have the serious discussion that we need to have about the way our students are being assessed.

How can I help?  Teachers across the state complain to each other constantly about this exam, but so far, no one has come forward to be the banner carrier for transparency.  With this presentation, I seek to draw attention to this problem and provide a forum for discussion and grassroots organization that can be a mechanism for influencing policy.

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