COLUMBIA — Students across South Carolina might have just completed the last standardized Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test they'll have to take.
The House and Senate agreed Thursday on a compromise plan that revamps the education accountability system and replaces the test in 2009. The House voted 112-0, while the Senate approved the plan by a voice vote.
"PACT as we know it would be over," said Rep. Bill Whitmire, a Walhalla Republican who helped negotiate the final version of the legislation.
The bill is headed to Gov. Mark Sanford, who must sign it for it to become law. Sanford press secretary Joel Sawyer said Sanford will not take a position on the legislation until he gets a chance to study it.
PACT, unpopular with teachers and students, is taken each year by third- through eighth-graders.
The legislation would replace the test with a more diagnostic one that also would deliver results about two months earlier and help teachers identify areas in which their students are having trouble. Students would be tested in English, math, science and social studies.
If the bill becomes law, it would be the first major state change to the Educational Accountability Act of 1998.