CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a few short weeks, high school students across North Carolina are expected to take their end-of-course exams but there's now a push to make some changes to state testing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State and federal guidelines require these final exams to be taken in-person and they account for 20% of a student's overall grade. But with more than one-third of students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district preferring virtual learning, some educators argue the in-person requirement isn't reasonable.
“We have families who are not comfortable attending school at this point and I think that’s the most important part of this,” CMS Board Member Sean Strain said.
A petition with close to 1,500 signatures has been created to encourage the North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, state superintendent and General Assembly to waive EOC exams for high school students. If not a complete waiver, another option is to waive the 20% requirement of a student's grade and administer the exams virtually, or at the very least waive the 20% so students aren’t penalized if they don’t feel comfortable testing in-person.
“We think this is a chance to prioritize safety over test scores,” petition supporter Chelsea Bartel said.
Ultimately, the state would still need approval by the U.S. Department of Education before any testing changes can be made.