By replacing end-of-semester two-hour final exams with marking period assessments, we will better serve our students by increasing instructional time, using formative assessment data throughout the school year to inform instruction, allowing students to receive timely supports and interventions, and providing students with more frequent and varied measures to demonstrate learning. Our goal is to use our assessments to measure what our students are and are not learning so that teachers can adjust and improve instruction to make sure every student understands and masters the material.
It also is important to note that over the past two years, students, parents, teachers, principals, the Board of Education, and community members have voiced strong concerns about the amount of testing in all grade levels and the need to increase instructional time. This plan restores more than two weeks of instruction used for the final exam schedule each year.
District assessments will be given quarterly certain core course that previously had a districtwide exam and count for 10 percent of a student's marking period grade, consistently across the district. The assessments will measure cumulative content knowledge and skills that build over the course of an instructional unit, marking period, or semester.
This evidence of learning strategy ensures that students are taking assessments during the marking period that are meaningful, rigorous, available to students and parents, and tied more closely to the instructional cycle to improve student learning.