Finding a Compromise

Gaby Keiderling When final exam time comes around, Latin becomes a stressful environment full of panic and nervous breakdowns.  However, it’s not just the students that feel the pressure, it’s also the teachers that are working hard to provide these exams. Teachers must make sure that they can test each and every student’s knowledge and comprehension of the subject.  It is common knowledge that every teacher has a different way of explaining material. With this in mind, it is fair that classes with different teachers often give the same final exam? Freshman Maddie Karp believes that “classes’ exams should not be the same, because each teacher teaches differently, and in a generic exam, some of those teachers’ ideas could be lost.” Additionally, teachers have varying concepts that they give to their students, so if every exam were to be the same, these special concepts would be lost. The question of whether classes that give different workloads should also have dissimilar finals is also surfaces when we address this idea. Allie Kersten, another freshman, has a different opinion. She thinks that finals “should be the same because it would be easier for students to study for exams…as a grade”.  Peer studying is a big part of community life at Latin, and it also plays a large role in the success of individuals.  It helps students to understand others’ ideas, and surely that’s what education is all about. Furthermore, when teachers aren’t available to give help, friends can explain it to each other.  Remy Dhingra agrees with the concept of having the same finals for everyone. She states that finals “should be the same so that no class gets an easier exam than others.” Remy’s point addresses another issue regarding the fairness between each exam.  The question of whether or not exams with different teachers should be the same is a tricky one. However, I discovered a compromise that would please both sides of the spectrum. When I was speaking with Mr. Gilden, he said that exams “do not necessarily need to be identical, but I think they should be very similar.  Similar not just in format, but in what skills they’re assessing.” Mr. Choi, who says that there is a “value with the consistency of finals… teachers need to collaborate when creating a final exam” furthers Mr. Gilden’s point.  If the teachers were all to collaborate, they could create a final exam that incorporates the material of each class, with each teacher put his or her own spin on it. Mr. Choi and Mr. Gilden sum it up perfectly.  Final exams shouldn’t be completely different, but they don’t have to be completely identical either. When it comes to classes like English 9 that have multiple teachers, each teacher should be able to add the extra little details that he or she teaches specifically in class, which will make each exam unique, yet fair.]]>