Algebra end-of-course exam waiver requested for A+ scholarship

Algebra I end-of-course exam requirements for A+ scholarship may soon be eliminated.

Missouri’s Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development has announced it will seek to repeat the waiver of the EOC algebra requirement that began in 2020 under the emergency declaration. of Governor Mike Parson.

Now that the emergency declaration has expired, the MDHEWD is no longer able to maintain the waiver, so it will seek approval from the Higher Education Coordinating Council to file an amendment to the emergency rule to waive the requirement for graduating students in 2022. If the rule is approved by the Joint Administrative Rules Committee and the Secretary of State, it will become effective 10 days after filing and remain in effect for 180 days.

According to the announcement, the purpose of the state of emergency is to act quickly on a policy that will then be made permanent through normal channels.

The move responds to “a number of inquiries and concerns regarding the ability of some students in the senior class of 2022 to meet all existing A+ eligibility criteria,” the announcement read.

In 2020, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education decided not to offer EOCs, a key part of A+ eligibility. Although students may use ACT scores in place of EOCs, the MDHEWD acknowledged “there has also been substantial disruption to this system.”

“Due to the fact that there are several cohorts of students who were either not required to take an EOC test or who have experienced issues taking the tests, MDHEWD staff believe it is appropriate to maintain this waiver. for 2022 seniors,” the announcement said. .

Although the first step is to eliminate the requirement for this year’s graduating class, the MDHEWD wants to completely eliminate the Algebra I EOC requirement and the ACT score alternative for two reasons.

“First, since high school students in 2024 are likely the students most affected by this disruption as they were the students for whom the testing requirement was completely lifted, two more years of waivers not covered by the state of emergency are appropriate,” the ad said. “Second, this requirement has historically created a barrier to accessing post-secondary education for a range of students.”

The MDHEWD plans to present a proposal to permanently eliminate the requirement to the Higher Education Coordinating Council at its March 9 meeting.

The other requirements for the A+ scholarship would still be in place. Currently, these other requirements include: being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, enrolling in school, attending an A+ designated school for two years, graduating with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, having a 95%, complete 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring and be a good citizen, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

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