Opinion: Elimination Of HSGQE Is Positive Step

The topic of tests in a student’s career is one that is often talked about, and also debated over.

Since the Anchorage School District’s removal of the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam, many mixed feelings have come about. As a student taking classes with a high workload, I would have been increasingly worried with yet another exam on my mind.

Now with the full removal of the test itself, my position stands where I am more towards supporting the exam’s removal, and it appears that I am not alone.

Jeffery Bevier, a Dimond history teacher, said, “We have many more tests aside from the qualifying exam such as the SATs, ACTs and WorkKeys.”

Bevier also goes on to say that the students of earlier years who were not able to acquire their high school diploma due to the fact they were not able to pass the HSGQE have the lowest paying jobs that Alaska has to offer, all because of one exam.

Another reason Bevier believes that the removal of the exam was beneficial is that it leaves more time for in-class time, allowing a student to focus more on their important classes as testing usually ends up pulling a student out.

I believe the removal of the exam is positive for a student’s academic career in that if that student achieved their required number of credits that they have been working so hard towards since the beginning, they should now be able to graduate.

Dimond counselor Robert Hartley also supports the removal of the exam.

Hartley said, “It [the exam] was not absolutely necessary.” and goes on to say that the reinstatement of the exam would prove to be more of a hassle than anything else.

However, after what seemed like a short interview, I began to ask him questions about what may replace the exam, and he responded with something very interesting.

People may find themselves asking what might replace the exam, as sophomores will still be required to test during the start of April, and Hartley had information on this topic.

Hartley was willing to share a ‘scoop’ with me, and it was worth the extra time to sit down with him.


Now with the exam gone, Hartley mentions what will replace the test, and will change the testing done involving high school students within the school year.

According to Hartley, based on his attendance of Anchorage School Board meetings, the official word about the topic of tests is that underclassmen will be required to take the SBAs as they have before, but the upperclassmen have something more interesting.

Upperclassmen, grades 11-12, will now be required to take one of three tests in order to be eligible to graduate.

The three tests that upperclassmen are able to take during their respective years  are either the SAT, ACT or WorkKeys.

Ultimately, I still currently stand with those who are in favor of removing the exam, however, with the new testing curriculum coming in to play within my future academic career, my feelings may vary in the coming years.