Sophomores walk into their assigned HSAP testing classrooms and get ready to take the test that determines if they’re going to graduate or not.
But wait…is this test actually required?
The High School Assessment Program was revoked by the South Carolina state government and is no longer a requirement for graduation. This opens up the opportunity for those who were refused graduation solely because they did not pass the HSAP to gain their high school diploma.
“I mean, you can’t really define success by how well you do on a test, but you can still be successful…if you don’t pass the test,” senior Olivia Reszczynski said. “But, at the same time, those are kind of basic skills you should learn in school.”
Two new tests will replace the HSAP. One is called WorkKeys and according to Greenville Online, it is designed as a way students can show their future employers what areas they are skilled in. The other test, though, has not been released yet. It will focus more on what students have learned in high school rather than what skills they can bring to the workforce.
Math teacher Kathleen O’Connell says the test results are one of four options: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
“I think my initial reaction since I teach exit math was a little shock[ed that students were not going to be tested with the HSAP anymore] because that is what [Exit Math] is preparing them for…and I was a little disappointed that they ruled [the HSAP] out,” O’Connell said, “because they weren’t 100 percent sure what it was [to be] replaced with.”
For some students and teachers, the HSAP is considered a test that doesn’t require a high level of knowledge.
“The HSAP, I believe, wasn’t written at the standard needed for it to be an exit math for high school,” O’Connell said. “It was written at a lower level.”
The number of students who failed the test might be a factor of the test not being required to graduate. According to Greenville Online, of all the students who had completed the requirements for graduation, eight percent were denied graduation because they did not pass the HSAP.
“I think [the HSAP is no longer required] because too many people failed,” junior Hailee Beltzhoover said. “It’s a standardized test so they [teachers] couldn’t really prepare you for it.”
Some believe that the concept of taking a test to determine your future isn’t an accurate representation of a student’s intellect.
“I don’t know if one test can stop you from graduating, because honestly you’ve had to take so many EOCs, if you pass the EOCs that are even more specific than the HSAP,” Olivia said. “You can’t define somebody just based on how they do on one test, in one room. They can be really great people and go out and do really amazing things, but they never get out of high school.”
WorkKeys and the other HSAP replacement will not be required for graduation, but they are designed to help demonstrate students’ skills to their employers and colleges.
“[WorkKeys is] a great test to have because it’s gonna help assess their work skills so if a student’s not going into college…,” O’Connell said. “That will help them with their careers so they can take it to employers…The Workkeys will show them…the skills that they have for an employer.”