Librarian Little: The Sky is NOT falling!

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School Library Industry Leader in Tennessee | Boarding School Librarian | Librarian Little: The Sky is Not Falling™ | Focus on Transitions -- elementary to middle, middle to high, and especially high school to college |

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Are final exams truly college preparatory?

"the way of the dodo" - 


A number of articles were published between 2010 - 2012 explaining that the percentage of college final exams given at the nations top universities was dwindling.
"reversing the default procedure for scheduling examinations reflects a pedagogical reality.  It appears that finals are going the way of the dodo. Harris [Harvard dean] told the faculty that of 1,137 undergraduate-level courses this spring term, 259 scheduled finals  --- For the more than 500 graduate-level courses offered, just 14 had finals" -  Bye-bye, Blue Books http://harvardmagazine.com/2010/07/bye-bye-blue-books
Many college preparatory schools still cling to traditional final exam schedules that mimic the "disappearing" university model.  So my question is - Are we truly preparing students for college by strictly giving exams?  Do we need to shift to more authentic assessment in the same way universities have shifted their practices?


Here is a reading list for the week: 


Fewer and fewer university professors are using exams as assessment.





Now some districts are considering foregoing exams at the high school level

Final Exams: A Necessary Endeavor?
http://shakerite.com/opinion/2012/05/30/final-exams-a-necessary-endeavor/

One of nation’s largest school districts ditches high school final exams
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/one-of-nations-largest-school-districts-ditches-high-school-final-exams/2015/09/08/49cf5810-561e-11e5-b8c9-944725fcd3b9_story.html

Two major school districts eliminating some final exams
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/no-more-final-exams-2-major-school-districts-drop-some-tests-in-evaluation-shift/2015/07/14/fbf5637a-2998-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html

What Schools Could Use Instead Of Standardized Tests
http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/01/06/371659141/what-schools-could-use-instead-of-standardized-tests

Study: High Standardized Test Scores Don't Translate to Better Cognition http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/12/13/study-high-standardized-test-scores-dont-translate-to-better-cognition