Horry County Schools awaits details on state’s new testing program

South Carolina’s high school exit exam is going by the wayside, but Horry County Schools won’t have details on the new testing plan for several weeks, officials said.

A new law signed by Gov. Nikki Haley last week eliminates the requirement that students pass an exit exam to graduate and replaces the exam with two tests, ACT’s WorkKeys and another test, to be named later, that will test for college readiness. The exit exam usually is taken second semester sophomore year, while the new testing plan will launch in the next school year for juniors.

Heather Sheehan, director of HCS assessments, said the district already has some experience with WorkKeys, which assesses work skills and awards certificates according to different scoring levels. The test is in use at HCS Adult Education and in some school programs, but the district has received no information from the S.C. Department of Education on how the test will be used under the new law, she said.

Sheehan said she has received bits of information from other sources and has been told it will take until early June before a new procedure is in place.

“A lot of changes are coming,” said Sheehan, including the Common Core standards, which will be fully implemented in 2014-15. “Next year is going to be a big upheaval year.”