New DOE rule allows students to test out of courses

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By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor

Beginning this school year, Georgia high school students may now test out of a course if they pass the End of Course Test (EOCT) prior to taking the course. Locally, school system administrators are revising regulations regarding course credits to accomodate the new rule.

The state Department of Education, this summer, has made it possible for students to earn course credit by reaching the “Exceeds” level – 92 or higher – on an EOCT prior to taking the course. Students may only earn up to three course credits in this manner, and this EOCT testing is only offered during the summer, in anticipation of the upcoming school year.

In order to attempt the EOCT test-out option in the summer for course credit, students must: (1) not have been or currently be enrolled in the course; (2) have earned a grade of B or better in the most recent high school course in a related content area for which the student is taking the EOCT; (3) have the recommendation of a teacher for the most recent high school course in a related content area for which the student is taking the EOCT; (4) have guidance counselor’s permission; and (5) have parent/guardian’s permission if the student is under 18.

There is a $50 fee for students that take the summer EOCT in an attempt to test out and receive credit for a course. If the student does get the required 92 or higher, they are refunded the $50.

Students currently enrolled in the course can’t take an EOCT to test out of the course, nor can students enrolled in a higher level course take an EOCT to test out and receive credit for a lower level course. Students who take the EOCT for a specific course and don’t meet the “Exceeds” score are permitted to take the course the following year.

Beyond the requirements, taking the EOCT to test out of a course may affect a student’s class standing and scholarship opportunities, and, further, could affect student-athletes hoping to compete at the collegiate level as NCAA rules don’t allow for “courses completed through credit-by-exam.”

This new rule applies to the upcoming school year, and EOCTs for the “testing out” option were administered in Morgan County in August.

The county school board voted unanimously last month to table revisions to the system regulations for public comment. They’re set to vote on the measure at their meeting Monday, Sept. 9.

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