I'm sick over Regents exams being the measuring stick of intelligence. By distributing, proctoring, grading, and giving credence to the exams are we only perpetuating the myth that they actually are true barometers of success? I am not sure if I can participate in the process next semester. Do exam grades translate into life long success? Seeing a sophomore cry in the cafeteria over the stress of an exam designed to separate her from society made me sick.
Below is an excerpted article that although might sound a little "Thomas Friedmenesque" is really the push we need to make in our school. If we are pushing project based learning and we are designing our own assessments we should consider changing our transcripts. Are we ready to make this switch?
"Between tasks in Algebra 2, Valari Jacobsen checks her grades in the class. Accessing her personal page on the school’s computer system, she sees she has a 71 percent in course content. She knows she needs to step that up.
But she’s doing really well in collaborating with her peers: Her score is 100 percent. And in oral communication, she has a 135 percent.
Unusual as it may seem, Jacobsen, an 18-year-old senior, is being evaluated on oral communication and on how well she works with other students in her mathematics class at Sacramento New Technology High School. Those interpersonal skills are among 10 “learning outcomes” students here must master as they progress through all their academic subjects. The outcomes are embedded in complex projects designed to build those skills as well as course-content knowledge.
The approach to learning is one response to national concern among policy and business leaders that teenagers are emerging from high school without the set of skills they need to thrive in college and the workplace. Some experts refer to those competencies as “soft” or “applied” skills. Some call them 21st-century skills." (read more)