Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hiding exams from students

Class Struggle
by Jay Mathews
The Washington Post
November 18, 2010

The parent at McLean High School was frustrated. Two years ago he had to go to the principal to force a teacher to let his daughter keep a copy of a graded test so she could get a better sense of her errors. Last month, it happened again with his son.

“My son no longer gets any exams returned, and in some cases, classes aren’t allowed to even view their exams,” he said in an Oct. 8 e-mail to the same principal, Deborah Jackson. “Using exams to learn where you erred and to prepare for future exams is a time-honored part of the learning process. My son’s math tutor (a teacher in another school) asked for a copy of a recent exam he had taken and when told that exams were no longer being returned, said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. How do they defend doing that?’ ”

As Jackson said in an interview, rules don’t require that exams go home, but that is her policy and she is enforcing it. She has gone to each teacher involved in the complaint (most of whom said they did not withhold any tests) and has notified the entire faculty.

Yet, that is not the end of it. Jackson said she doesn’t have final say on the handling of all exams. There are signs that keeping exams from students might become more prevalent, not less, in Fairfax County and other districts.

Read more HERE.

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