UC High Prepares for Honors End of Course Exams

Josh Click, Photo Editor

   At the end of this academic year, students from UC High, and across the District, who are enrolled in Honors courses will be required to take the Honors end-of-course exams for their respective classes in order to receive weighted credit for the class, according to the San Diego Unified School District.  

A lot of the Honors tests are online, but others are going to take the form of a project.”

— Thomas Volle

   Vice Principal Alex Villalobos said, “As far as I have been told, the exams will be offered at the end of Quarter Three for periods one to three and Quarter Four for periods four to six.”

   Honors US History Teacher Michael Brown said, “End-of-Course exams for Honors US [History] and English are scheduled for the end of Quarter Four. I’m not sure if we will be back in school and if we are not, I assume it will be online through Illuminate.”

   “A lot of the Honors tests are online, but others are going to take the form of a project. For example, some teachers from the Biomed classes gave out projects in the years past and are going to do the same this year,” Honors Chemistry Teacher Thomas Volle said. 

   According to a newsletter sent by Educational Director Erica Simmons, “The University of California system requires that all students taking an Honors level course must complete the district’s Honors End-of-Course Examination (EOCE) to receive weighted credit. EOCEs have been used successfully in many districts as a way to evaluate student learning based on a set of common expectations that despite a school’s location or demographics, all students are still expected to learn the same critical content. EOCEs can serve as a helpful tool for the backwards planning of instruction. When used as part of a student’s grade, this exam can serve as a powerful incentive for students.”

   “If students enrolled in Honors level courses do not take the district [EOCE] or complete project, student transcripts will reflect an academic mark in the non-honor equivalent course… All students enrolled in Honors level courses must complete the district End-of-Course Examination or Project and it must be uploaded to Illuminate for reporting purposes,” the newsletter continued.

   Volle said, “The Honors tests give us teachers a type of guidance to what we should be teaching in our classes. We have to make sure that our class is giving the same teachings as other honors classes in other schools to give students the same knowledge when they exit  to college or other higher education.”

   Volle explained his approach to grading for his class versus the exam. “I’m not changing my course at all this year other than scaling back because of the short time that we have. My goal is not to teach kids for the end-of-course exam. This is because it’s up to me to grade and give out the Honors credit. Just because you scored well on the Honors test does not mean you can get the credit. If you have not been a good student in my class, then it’s up to me to judge if you should get that credit,” he said.