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A + B should equal no midterm for seniors

Photo by Alex McIntosh

Photo by Alex McIntosh

Alex McIntosh, Reporter

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It is a fact of life here in LHS that seniors are afforded the ability to avoid the midterm exams. It isn’t a free pass given to seniors because they don’t want to take the exams, but rather a privilege earned through hard work. In order to avoid midterm exam for a class, the senior must score at least a 90.0 on both quarter one and two. The policy works, and I have seen seniors who would otherwise be tempted by slacking buckling down to chase that A.

The origin of the policy is somewhat of a mystery, but according to guidance counselor Ms. Ryan, at one point, seniors were mandated to take midterms no matter what. The policy as a whole has a simple purpose, provide a privilege to seniors that must be earned. However, the question must be asked, why wouldn’t the average of both quarters determine your fate?

As it stands now, a student who works hard quarter one, and receives a 95, but falls short in quarter two with an 89 is still subjected to the exam. Or worse yet, a student who gets an 89 or lower on quarter one will be tempted to simply slack off quarter two, already being predestined to take the exams. This very thing happened to senior Zach Ford, who after receiving an 87 in two classes first quarter, decided it would be better to redirect his effort to classes he still had a chance in.

“I wanted to focus more on the classes I could get an A in,” Ford said. “I definitely would have [worked harder], if I had the chance to not take midterms why wouldn’t I.”

The current system is in place to promote academic consistency throughout both quarters. Academic consistency is very important, and a good effort should be expected in both quarters of the semester. However, I believe using the average of both quarters can achieve the same goal. After all, that’s the grade that is reflected in report cards and the transcript.

I am sure just about everyone can agree slackers shouldn’t have the privilege of avoiding the midterm exams, but most people wouldn’t consider a B+ a slacker’s grade. Using the semester average, even if a student is able to get a 95 first quarter, they would still need to get at least an 85 in the second quarter to keep an A, and avoid midterms. Using the average of both quarters can both encourage a consistent work effort throughout the year and be a system students find more fair.

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1 Comment

One Response to “A + B should equal no midterm for seniors”

  1. Barbara Mee on January 17th, 2018 11:31 am

    First, the “origin” is not a mystery to many of us who remember when this was proposed and approved by administrators. Second, they are not “mid-terms” but finals, because if they were mid-terms, then you would not be able to earn a 1/2 credit… you would take an exam now that is the beginning of school until January, and then in June, if it was then a final , it would be from the beginning of school to June, and you would earn a full 1 credit. Misuse of the term happens to be a pet peeve of mine. And LHS has had the 1/2 credit in January since I came here in 1985. Regardless of whether the semester class continues and is technically a full year course. Full disclosure… wasn’t really a supporter of this and particularly don’t like the 2nd semester seniors no exam policy at all. “Fair” is an odd word … and not one that usually convinces grown-ups of anything. Frankly, it’s whining. Life is not fair… if someone is telling you it is, good luck. They are misleading you. We are supposed to be preparing you for the real world. Depending on your field, you may have to take tests… of all sorts, in the future. If you are truly an academic individual, your effort, imho, should not be directed by whether you have to take a 2 hour exam or not. I do not believe this policy became the “carrot” it was expected to be. Do what you need to do to keep your A/A- if you want the “reward” of not taking the exam.

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