Maryland School District Ditches Final Exams

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Starting this year, high school students in Montgomery County have it a little bit easier: That school district, the largest in the state, has voted to eliminate year-end final exams in high school, the Washington Post reports.

Instead of taking extensive, two-hour long exams at the end of the year, Montgomery County students will now be evaluated throughout the year. And those evaluations won’t be limited to just tests — students might have to give a presentation or write an essay to demonstrate knowledge instead. Getting rid of the tests means that students will get two extra weeks of instruction in the place of test prep and test-taking.

“We’re trying to regain more instructional time. Parents and educators want more teaching and less testing,” County Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill told the Post. Earlier this summer, Montgomery County scrapped final exams for middle school students as well.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that students won’t still need to have plenty of number 2 pencils at hand. As the Post points out, students can — or have to — take plenty of other tests throughout the school year, including Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, state tests, PARCC exams, and college entrance assessments. But this move away from county-mandated tests is surely an encouraging one for test-fatigued students — let’s hope some other school districts follow suit.



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