SC lawmakers could eliminate graduation mandate for HS exit exam

Photo Credit: kxln 45 UNIVISION
Photo Credit: kxln 45 UNIVISION

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Students at Myrtle Beach High School are taking their exit exams today; it could be the last time they take them with the stipulation that if they don't pass, they don't graduate.

Lawmakers are looking to drop the requirement that students pass the HSAP exit exam. In a 7 to 0 vote, a panel voted to send the bill to the full Education Committee.

"I'm thrilled beyond belief because it just takes so much time out of the classroom," says test administrator Jane Roberts.

Roberts also says it puts a lot of pressure on students.

Nona Kerr, the principal at Myrtle Beach High School, believes there are other tests that serve as better barometers for where students are at.

"I think there is more data available, and I'm not so sure the HSAP gives us a true indicator of what's needed for our students to graduate from high school," Kerr says.

Last year, 80 percent of students passed the exit exam on the first try, according to the State Education Department, but nearly 4,000 did not. Education chairman Phil Owens is the main sponsor of it, and 36 others have signed on with support from children advocacy groups. Right now the bill is up for review by the full education oversight committee.