State education leaders look for PASS test replacement

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - As Horry County students, in grades three through eight, begin PASS testing Tuesday, South Carolina state education leaders have a different idea in mind for next year.

Education leaders are looking for a new standardized test to replace PASS testing for next year. South Carolina schools have transitioned to Common Core Standards and parts of the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards test are not in alignment with Common Core Curriculum.

The director of assessment for Horry County School, Heather Sheheen, says a decision about next year's standardized test is still up in the air.

Just last Friday, Sheheen received correspondence from the State House about changes for next year's test. The senate had a second reading on the issue and next year PASS would only be administered for science and social studies, if the education oversight committee gives final approval.

The tests for English and Math have yet to be determined.

"While PASS does pick up pieces of common core it's not a full assessment of just Common Core," she says.

A test aligned with Common Core standards makes it possible to track how South Carolina students stack up against the rest of the nation and tests students on what employers say their looking for.

Right now, 21 states are trying a standardized test called the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, before rolling it out next school year. South Carolina education leaders considered the test but at the senate floor's second reading, the plan was scrapped.

Whatever happens in the end, educators just want parents to help their children do their best.

"Have them eat breakfast, make sure they go to bed on time, and just remind them that they are good students. Pep them up and tell them that they can do it," says Sheheen.

The results of this week's PASS test scores will be available Monday, June 16.

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