Government HSA to be updated, biology HSA to be phased out
The Maryland State Department of Education is in the process of changing the government High School Assessment (HSA) test and plans to phase out the biology HSA test next year.
Because the Maryland State Department of Education is redoing the HSA test for government, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will have to change the curriculum for government classes. "We are changing our curriculum to make sure that it works, that it lines up with the new HSA," social studies resource teacher Mary Lou Thornton said.
There will be a new test to replace the biology HSA that sets new requirements for students. "There's a new test being implemented in two years and because of that, and they're giving new stipulations for students to take science. They do not feel the HSA is satisfying that new requirement so they're phasing it out," Roark said. The new science test will cover more than the current test does. "It does cover physics, biology and chemistry so that is an immediate change, that students will have to have a little bit of all of those knowledges to get through that test, and the current HSA is only biology," Roark said.
The Maryland State Department of Education has not released the new tests to any teachers yet. "It's a closely held secret a lot of times what those questions look like," Thornton said.
The social studies department is focusing on teaching ESOL students better English skills to prepare them for the new HSA. "We've realigned how we're going to teach the ESOL kids, what social studies classes they're going to take, and in what order, so that by the time they're seniors we hope that they'll have enough English language skills to deal with the test," Thornton said.
The Montgomery County Board of Education ruled in October to adopt these changes. Educators are preparing for implementation in the coming school year.
Amy Forsbacka. Hi, I'm Amy. I love drinking coffee, trying tasty new foods and doing yoga. I also enjoy running and relaxing. More »