Montgomery County votes to phase out high school finals

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Instead of traditional two-hour final exams, students in Montgomery County high schools would be given shorter assessments through the year under a plan approved by the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Board members voted Tuesday to tentatively approve the proposal, which would eliminate high school end-of-semester exams starting next school year.

In July, the board decided to end final exams for middle school students.

The school system says the new approach will give educators more time for instruction and “provide students with more frequent and varied measures to demonstrate learning.”

Final exams would be replaced by assessments given each marking period.

“These marking period assessments could take different forms — such as a unit test or a project — but would be centrally developed and consistent throughout the district,” MCPS says in a release.

Final exams currently make up 25 percent of a student’s final grade, and school officials are still working on a new grading system.

According to the release, “MCPS reached out to more than 20 school districts, including 13 from the state of Maryland, to gain an understanding of existing trends and best practices.”

The county’s board of education is seeking public input on the grading system and the overall plan.  You can submit your comments here.

Comments can also be submitted by email to boe@mcpsmd.org or by mail to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Room 122, Rockville, MD 20850.

The deadline for comments is Oct. 19.

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