Future of Mississippi’s U.S. History state test unclear as task force recommends its elimination

Future of Mississippi’s U.S. History state test unclear as task force recommends its elimination

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi high school students could soon have one less testing requirement.

A testing task force is recommending the currently mandatory U.S. History test be scrapped. It’s the only state test required by Mississippi but not the federal government.

A survey of the state’s high school teachers came back with overwhelming results that they think it’s time to end the U-S History end-of-course exam. And recent graduate Jake Kienle agrees.

“I think I missed out because of the test because my teacher couldn’t go into much detail about certain things because he had to cover x, y and z for the test,” said Kienle.

The State’s Testing Task force recommendation now has to be considered by the Commission on School Accreditation and ultimately by the State Board of Education.

But to be clear, even if they decide to end exam requirement, U-S History will still be a required course statewide.

“It’s foundational to our curriculum and our coursework and students are going to have to master that curriculum in order to graduate in the future as they currently do now,” explained Madison Central High School principal Sean Brewer.

Brewer says there could be some benefits to a change.

“It actually frees teachers up to continue to teach the curriculum, to plan when they’re going to give their assessments as it flows in the classroom and instruction goes,” added Brewer.

For those like Rep. Tom Miles who’ve been pushing for a change at the legislative level for the last two years, they see the recommendation as a positive first step.

“I’m glad to hear that Mississippi Department of Education has realized and has admitted to with their press release yesterday that Houston we have a problem with state testing in Mississippi and we need to do something about it,” said Tom Miles-D.

Any change to the end-of-course assessment would not take place until the 2020-2021 school year.

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