Starting this school year (2016-2017) North Carolina’s State Board of Education has decided to reinstate final exams for certain courses. Before, teachers collaborated on designing the final exam for their class, with the exception of Biology, English II and Math I which took the End-of-Course exams. These subjects include the following:
- Civics and Economics
- World History
- American History I and II
- Physical Science
- Earth Science
- Math II and III
- Advanced Functions and Modeling
- Discrete Math
- English I, III and IV
Since these are required by the state, seniors will not be allowed exemptions for final exams in these classes.
LeeAnn Lucas is a senior this year and is enrolled in some of the courses listed above. “It feels kind of unfair, considering that all the other seniors before us haven’t had to take [the exams] and we do,” said Lucas.
According to the Public Schools of North Carolina website, NCFE’s (North Carolina Final Exams) are being re-instated to assist with teacher evaluations. “The NCFEs are considered standardized artifacts reflective of student growth for teachers and school growth for participants in the teacher evaluation project,” said the website.
Each final exam is worth 20% of a student’s final grade, with the exception of Math II and III, in which the exams will not be counted towards the student’s final grades. For those math subjects the final exams have not been ‘field-tested’ — meaning they have not been given at schools and modified due to the results-so, the final exams taken in those classes will not be counted towards the student’s final average in the class. Each student’s average will be determined based on 50% first quarter grade and 50% second quarter grade.
Jennifer Yost is a Math III and Discrete Math teacher, so all of her classes will have to take the NCFEs. “[The exams] will not affect my teaching because I don’t ‘teach to a test’. So, nothing will change; I just hope they do well,” said Yost.
The North Carolina final exams will be given at the end of each semester, along with teacher-made final exams from other classes that are not required to take NCFEs.