Changes to PERT Exam Exemption

By Giggle Magazine

PERT test article

Calling all parents of incoming high school freshman! While it might be an emotional time sending your teen off to high school for the first time, you have to start thinking about graduation, as far off as that may seem right now! It is important to start thinking early on about what your child needs in order to graduate so you do not miss any important tests or paperwork.

According to the Florida Department of Education, students are required to take the Language Arts Florida Standards Assessment (or FSA) from grades three to ten, and students in any grade completing courses in Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology 1, U.S. History or Civics (or their equivalent courses) are required to take an End-of-Course (EOC) assessment. Both the FSA and the EOC tests determine whether or not a student is eligible to pass their grade and move to the next or graduate high school.

In previous years, students could substitute a failing score from an FSA or EOC with a passing score from either the PERT test, the SAT or ACT. According to the PERT’s website, the purpose of the test is to “assess academic skills and determine college readiness and course placement.” The PERT consists of three subtests: math, reading, and writing and is taken by eleventh grade students as a graduation requirement for their senior year.

Now, students are losing one of those options. The PERT test is being taken away as a replacement because the test is “too easy” to pass and not holding up to the standards of other rigorous tests given to students, according to state leaders.

Beginning with the incoming class of 2022, students will no longer be able replace a failed end of year state exam score with a passing score from the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (or PERT). Previously, PERT has offered students a chance to test in certain subject areas.

With this new rule, students who fail their EOC exams will have to score even higher on their ACT or SAT if they want to receive their diplomas. According to the Florida Department of Education, to supplement a failing EOC or FSA score, students must score a minimum of 15 out of 36 on the ACT math section and 18 out of 36 on the reading section; students must score a minimum of 340 out of 800 on the SAT math section and 410 out of 800 on the SAT reading section.

This change in graduation requirements could cause a significant decline in the number of students graduating high school once the rule goes into effect. In 2017, 20 percent (35,000) of students in the state of Florida used the PERT test to help them graduate high school.

Luckily, the current rules will apply and continue to help the graduating classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021.