The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County today unanimously approved a new policy that will replace the current high school semester exams with more timely quarterly assessments beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.
School system staff members have been working on the policy since last school year. Comments from a variety of interested groups – including parents, students, teachers, principals, and community members – helped shape the policy approved today.
Under the new policy and accompanying regulation, quarterly assessments will be taken by children in grades 3 through 12 during normal class periods and will reflect material covered during a given amount of time. As this topic has been being discussed, the Division of Curriculum and Instruction has been creating assessments that reduce the amount of tests children must take.
The policy and regulation will also alter the way grades are calculated for high school students. Currently, a student’s semester grade is made up of two marking period grades (40 percent each) and a semester exam grade (20 percent). Under the new policy and regulation next year, 50 percent of a student’s semester grade would come from each marking period. The quarterly assessment would make up 10 percent of a marking period grade.
Quarterly assessments need not be written exams. In a dance or art class, for example, the assessment could be a performance or project.
The policy was discussed at length at the Board’s September 16, 2015, meeting. To see that presentation, click here.