Miami-Dade Schools: Midterms & Finals Optional

<p>Heaven forbid we should make the poor kids study for a final...wouldn't want to subject them to any more stress! No wonder Florida public schools are among the worst in the country.</p>

<p>Miami-Dade</a> school district makes midterms, finals optional for students - Schools - MiamiHerald.com</p>

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A long line of tests stand between students and summer — baseline exams, interim tests, FCAT and end-of-course state exams, to name a few.</p>

<p>Many Miami-Dade students can scratch some tests off the list. No more midterms or finals for students in grades 6 through 12.</p>

<p>The longtime staples have been quietly eliminated by the Miami-Dade public schools and the school board. Approved at the October meeting, the policy makes midterms and finals optional.</p>

<p>Many students are elated, even shocked.</p>

<p>“It’s a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about a midterm or a final. It’s a lot easier to get a better grade,” said Katie Goldman, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High.

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<p>Can't wait to see how these kids handle finals and midterms once they hit college where two tests can make up most of the grade.....</p>

<p>Wow, they will be in culture shock when they get to college. </p>

<p>And when you said "poor kids", it was not meant as "financially disadvantaged kids", right?. More of a "poor poor pittiful you" sarcastic comment, I believe?</p>

<p>cross posted with seahorse...great minds think alike.</p>

<p>Agree that college preparation will suffer. Repetitions help in making the knowledge stick long term. The student who missed it the first time will have incentives to learn it for the next test, and practice integrating knowledge tested once with new knowledge. Another crossposter.</p>

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And when you said "poor kids", it was not meant as "financially disadvantaged kids", right?. More of a "poor poor pittiful you" sarcastic comment, I believe?

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<p>vlines, </p>

<p>Yes, I meant it sarcastically, not poor as in financially disadvantaged. Even the rich kids will get out of taking finals.</p>

<p>I don't think your analogy holds up, vlines. College students aren't forced to take ridiculous standardized exams multiple times a year. They're tested in each class and that's it.</p>

<p>You can only shovel so many tests in front of a student - our system is completely overburdened with standardized tests and this decision is a common-sense reaction to the problem that there is such a thing as TOO MANY tests and that we have long since passed that point.</p>

<p>Standardized exams measure someone's ability to fill in bubbles. That's about it. And this isn't sour grapes - my SAT/GRE scores were 800v/550q and 800v/540q, respectively. I'm great at taking standardized exams, but I don't think they have any relationship to the real world.</p>

<p>I wish they'd be able to keep class midterms/finals and ****can the endless stream of other exams. But the law is the law, until we wise up and change it.</p>

<p>Not sure what to think without reading more.</p>

<p>The reality is kids really do have way more tests these days, especially the standardized tests. However, it is true that they need to be prepared for college where an entire grade can be determined by one test.</p>

<p>Frankly, I would love to see all tests eliminated and have the grade determined by homework, class projects and papers. The true test of whether someone has learned something is whether they can demonstrate it or teach it, not whether they can regurgitate facts on a multiple choice test.</p>

<p>It's a shame to eliminate mid-terms and finals...kids simply are not prepared to deal with college where the greatest chunk of their grade is a mid-term and final. They get far to comfortable with a grade based on class attendance, turning in daily homework, the "extra credit" along with the ubiquitous "class participation" bump. </p>

<p>As far as standardized testing, there just simply isn't that much of it in my experience watching the boys. Far more in the elementary grades than in high school. PLAN in 10th, PSAT in 11th, ACT/SAT perhaps in 11th maybe in fall 12th. No one needs to take the ACT or the SAT more than once or twice at the most (11th grade and fall of 12th grade). APs, at least in our system, ARE the finals for AP classes and very. very few colleges or universities require the SAT IIs and many that do accept the ACT in lieu of SAT IIs. Our "state required" testing is the ACT so the kids can check that box. Sounds more like a state by state issue, and I certainly don't "understand" the magnitude of the Florida mandated testing situation.</p>

<p>I can believe it. Pennsylvania is phasing in its Keystone exams in 10 content areas - and they expect the exams to count for 1/3 of the grade in the class. Never mind that state exams are usually so basic that they will not be similar to what a final in the class would cover, at least in our district.</p>

<p>Imo, they should get rid of the standardized tests instead.</p>

<p>I'm ok with getting rid of many standardized tests, but midterms and finals? WHAT? Why are we continuing to set high school students up for failure in college? College freshmen struggle enough, why are we going to force them to struggle even more? How pathetic.</p>

<p>In high school (70's), I had a Calculus teacher who only gave a midterm and final. No quizzes, no other tests. He said that's the way college works and since calculus was a college level class that was the way it would be. I'm still thankful to this day that I had him as a teacher. College was that much easier and much less of a shock to the system.</p>

<p>agree with Emilybee- the tests which show whether the student actually learned the class should stay; the inane "high stakes" standardized tests are what should go.</p>

<p>We're seeing the results of the actual situation in college, and it ain't pretty.</p>

<p>Crizello: in LAUSD the administrators did exactly the opposite of Miami. They want teachers to place less emphasis on homework. The 'reasoning' to use that word loosely is that disadvantaged kids have no place to do homework, they have jobs, have to take care of younger siblings, and have less time than other kids to complete homework. Since they were not doing the homework, not getting the points awarded for doing homework, and getting bad grades, let's just eliminate homework. The upshot was that requiring homework was elitist.</p>

<p>TatinG: Well, eliminating homework isn't really the issue, don't you think. If a student can't do homework, they certainly can't study for a test. It is somewhat strange that our schools are so afraid of 'discrimination' that we appeal to the lowest common denominator, instead of challenging all of our students to aim high.</p>

<p>Again, I still think that tests are not the real way to gauge mastery of a subject. Mastery comes from doing, teaching, practicing, not from memorization. When I want to really learn something, I prepare to teach it. </p>

<p>I do realize that students need to be prepared for college, but maybe that isn't how college should do it either (focus on tests). I do remember one professor that based the entire grade on the final. Getting to know him a few years later, I do think it was a macho thing. </p>

<p>I think the classes where I learned the most were the ones with the written work (papers, essays, exercises) and the team activities.</p>

<p>A midterm or final in high school usually consists of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. Standardized test, OTOH, rarely consist of anything other than fill in the correct bubble.</p>

<p>In college most of my exams were similar or only essay exams. </p>

<p>Learning how to write research papers is also way more important, imo, then any standardized test</p>

<p>Take a vote...less homework, more focused testing. More homework, no testing.
College track will probably take you to testing.</p>

<p>I'm not a big fan of homework, except for reading and term papers. When the kids are young it's merely busywork and except for math when they are in high school, I see no importance to homework besides the aforementioned reading/papers. </p>

<p>My son had very little homework at his private high school and is having no problem in handling his course work in college.</p>

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My son had very little homework at his private high school

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Really? Or did he just tell you that ;)</p>