SB 2689: Replace end of course tests with national testing options

HOUSE BILL 123 - 1

Senate Bill 2689, sponsored by Sen. Dennis DeBar, would remove the public school graduation requirement that students must pass certain standardized end-of-course tests created by the state Department of Education. Instead, they would be required to pass a nationally recognized exam, such as the ACT.  

The bill would call upon the Mississippi Department of Education to secure a testing waiver from the federal Department of Education to allow this for the 2026-27 school year and beyond. The current state tests would be replaced with “nationally recognized college-readiness and career-readiness tests, such as, but not limited to, the ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessments.” 

For years, Empower has been lifting the stories of teachers who have become increasingly frustrated by the current mandatory tests that eliminate creativity and time in the classroom. By changing the current testing methods, schools would be able to move away, not just from the days lost to testing, but the days preparing for a test. And such tests are more relevant for life after high school, whether that is college or a career. It would also reduce the cost associated with creating and administering tests that are unique to Mississippi. 

Empower Mississippi supports this legislation. 

SB 2689 has passed the Senate and has been referred to the House Education Committee. You can read the bill here.