Archived Story

Sparkman tests new County schools’ schedule

Published 2:44pm Monday, January 9, 2012

BY CHANDLER SHIELDS

The Madison County School Board revised the school system’s schedule for 2011-2012, which affects the entire community, especially students and teachers. The main problem students and faculty are facing is the altered testing schedule.

For Sparkman High School, Christmas break abruptly put a stop in the curriculum, only to return for a week of quick review, which was then followed with mid-terms or final exams. Sparkman’s exams are scheduled for Jan. 9-12, which is exactly two weeks after Christmas break.

“I think it’s beyond ridiculous that we have to take exams after the break because I don’t remember half of the things I learned in zoology,” Sparkman senior Krista James said.

Two years ago, Sparkman students were given the choice to be exempt from exams if they met certain qualifications, based on attendance and averages. The reason behind abolishing the exemption benefits students in the long run is to prepare them for college exams rather than letting them off easy in high school.

“Until last school year, I didn’t have to take any exams because I made all A’s and I didn’t have any absences. But last year I had to take eight and this year I will have taken ten by the end of the year,” James said.

Sparkman’s rival, Bob Jones High School, had a more sufficient schedule pertaining to testing in the students’ point of view. It is safe to say that all of the Bob Jones students were relieved to test before they were released for break.

“We always take them before Christmas break. Always. I would hate having to take them in January,” Bob Jones senior Adrienne Dauma said.

Sparkman’s exam week is a short week, with Friday concluding as a Teacher Work Day. Students are relieved, considering Wednesday and Thursday are half days. These set-aside days are intended for students to take the exams and then rest and study for the next day’s exams, but the best part is that the half-days still count as full days. Therefore, students and faculty are not penalized to make-up days during their summer vacation.

“I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing on the half-days, but I won’t be studying; neither will more than half of students,” James said.

There are very few students that fall into the pro-testing category, as most are strongly against the idea of final exams, much less semester mid-terms. As students progress to college and higher levels of education, they should be more experienced taking tests and know more information as a whole by taking these mandatory tests.

“No high school student wants to take any test, but in the long run these exams will help me in college, hopefully,” James said.

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