Midterms Cancelled; Summatives Remain

Midterms+Cancelled%3B+Summatives+Remain

Written by Caitleen Copeland and Diana Tinta, The Woodgrove Outlander

For the past two years midterms have been cancelled due to snow, but now students countywide don’t have to flush ice down the toilet anymore because midterms have been officially cancelled by the school board.However, students can’t get too excited because teachers can still give a cumulative test, it will just have less weight.

According to Principal Sam Shipp, teachers will still be able to give a cumulative, summative assessment, but they will no longer be 20% of students’ semester grades.

Shipp said, “Midterms were 20% of a semester grade, but now they will only be equivalent to a normal unit test in a quarter. So it’ll will be worth what a typical test in a quarter would be.”

Shipp believes that it is important for teachers to know that students understand the material taught before moving on, and one way of doing this is through a summative assessment.

“A lot of things that you learn about the second semester are built upon what you learned foundationally from the first semester. If the students don’t have the information, and they continue on, it almost becomes a moot point,” said Shipp.

Teachers can assess where students need review by multiple means such as a project, portfolio, or a normal paper and pencil test.

Shipp said, “Whatever the teacher feels that he or she needs to judge where their students are, I’m supportive of measures that the teachers will implement.”

Many students are relieved with the stress of midterms being cancelled, including senior Emily Schock.
Schock said, “ I no longer have the stress of worrying about the midterm bringing my grade down. If I had a 90, I would have to stress about doing well, since it could easily bring me down to a B.”

However some teachers, like AP Government teacher Mr. Alex Bennett, think that cancelling midterms was a bad idea.

“I don’t believe that cancelling midterms prepares students for the rigor of college. Cumulative tests are now going to count for the same as a normal test, but if I’m going to test on multiple units, it should have more weight,” said Bennett.

Woodgrove 2012 graduate and senior at George Mason University, Sean Copeland, doesn’t agree and thinks that the cancellation of midterms will not affect students performance in college.

“High school finals are often too easy and the answers seem to be handed to you. They also don’t give out final papers enough which is huge in college,” said Copeland.