Students in Some AP, IB Courses No Longer Required to Take State End-of-Course Tests

In an effort to eliminate double testing and reduce the number of tests Georgia students are required to take, the State Board of Education, Governor Kemp, and Superintendent Woods  approved a policy that eliminates the End-of-Course-Test (EOC) for International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement students.  Given the timing of this policy change, almost 4,000 Cobb students will be given one less test at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Specifically, the rule change applies to students in the following courses: AP Language and Composition, AP US History, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, IB English A Literature, IB Economics, and IB History of the Americas. The updated State policy goes into effect on November 27. 

The rule change, which Superintendent Chris Ragsdale fully supports, means almost 4,000 Cobb students will take 5,000 fewer end-of-course (EOC) assessments in the 2019-2020 school year. Students are not required to take the AP test for the exemption.  

How does the change impact Cobb students? 

Until the policy change, state law required that the end-of-course (EOC) exam serve as 20 percent of the final course grade. In order to keep the current course weightings outlined in each teacher’s syllabus for the 2019-2020 school year, the District considered options to keep the course grading as consistent as possible. 

After analyzing student data from the 2018-2019 school year and for the 2019-2020 school year only (based on the timing of the policy), the District discovered removing the end-of-course exam (EOC), with no replacement assessment or assignment, would lower most IB/AP student grades.

Based on input from teachers, principals, and discussions with peer districts, the Cobb County School District staff determined that the best way forward for this school year is to replace the EOC grade with a district-created assessment, which will replace the end-of-course exam (EOC).

“We are going to ensure that no student’s grade in these IB and AP classes are negatively impacted. We are putting in an assessment, for this year, created by teachers, that is fair for each IB and AP students across the board,” said Superintendent Ragsdale. 

The District will continue to review the implications of this policy change and look forward to one less assessment for almost 4,000 Cobb students in the 2020-2021 school year.

From expanding the district-created assessments in the Cobb Teaching and Learning System to the opening of the new Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy in Fall 2020, Cobb Schools staff will continue to look for opportunities to best position students for future college and career opportunities.