Frisco Schools Ditching Final Exams

FRISCO (AP) – Final examinations will be a thing of the past for one suburban Dallas school district after administrators decided students were simply taking too many tests, leaving teachers with less time to actually teach anything.

The Frisco Independent School District announced Wednesday that it would dispense with finals for its more than 37,000 students — especially at its four high schools.

Previously, the final examination schedule was a two-week process consisting of four days of review and four days of testing, said Kenny Chandler, district director of school improvement.

In recent years, more time has been taken up by the addition of standardized state testing. District officials said the addition of those tests, along with advance placement, college placement and other exams, created the need to recover instruction days.

With all of the examinations administered to students, “We do not need to add to that any more than is necessary,” Chandler said in a district statement issued Wednesday. “We believe that preserving instructional time is the most important thing we can do.”

Chandler also said district officials will continue to examine many of the district-level assessments administered to students to weigh their value to teaching and student learning. If officials see no benefit, those tests, too, will be jettisoned.

“You don’t fatten a pig by weighing it,” Chandler said, quoting an axiom. “We value assessments and tests to provide feedback to students and parents, to gauge academic mastery and progress and to guide our instructional decision. But we must do some things differently to protect classroom learning time.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. CYK says:

    time to move from Frisco if you have kids or go private school or home school. Reduce the number of tests during the semester and count homework grades more but if you don’t measure what is learned during the semester…then you don’t know if the student needs to repeat the course or is ready to move on. Especially in math. Decisions like this is what keep the Sylvans in business where parents pay $10,000 or more to have them teach what the schools are failing to teach. That this kind of business thrives in this area is a direct indictment of the administrative decisions that are made locally…like this one.

    1. LJ says:

      You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Listen to what the professionals are saying: thanks to state requirements, there are too many tests and not enough time for instruction. I’ll bet you did not know how many tests there are in school now. For example look at the Irving ISD test schedule: October- TEKS Practice exams, TAKS retest, Nov.-TEKS practice exam, Jan.-TEKS practice exam, Semester Exams, March- TAKS, TELPAS, Apr.-EOC, TAKS, May- EOC, TAKS Retest, Final Exams. These tests usually take 3 or 4 days (basically a week) becuase of the multiple subjects tested. Add it up and that is 12 weeks of testing. And that doesn’t even include the teacher made tests and quizzes.

      1. RussP says:

        But if they’d spend time actually doing the job of teaching the subject, there would be no need to spend all the time they do reviewing and taking practice tests. Simplified version, spend most of the semester teaching, spend a few days in the middle and the end of the semester giving the tests. The kids would either have learned the material and pass or didn’t and fail. I guess the question then becomes is it the fault of the student or the teacher.

  2. darrell says:

    the bottom line is that eliminating those tests gives teachers more time to instruct students on the answers to the state mandated tests. its those tests that teacher performance evaluations and bonus’s are based on. so its all about the money. teaching children how to pass a test is not the same as teaching them an education. you can teach a rat to pass a “standard test” given enough practice. but you cant teach a rat an education. we have now equated our children to the level of rats.

    since you are not going to “teach” our children an education. there is no longer a need for the schools or teachers, or tax bills. they can learn all of the answers to these standardized tests at home or on line. all of those funds can go to help improve the local communities.

    1. MV says:

      So send your kids to private school if you don’t want your kids to be rats! Have you looked at teacher pay lately???? Bonuses???? You don’t know what you are talking about! Teachers are being laid off everywhere! Get a grip!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        THANK YOU, MV!!! I have heard of very few places in TX where teachers are getting “Bonuses”. Where is that at? I’m going there. I work my butt off!

    2. Elizabeth says:

      BTW – THe state mandated tests are actually a combination of all the skills they should know at that grade level. It won’t matter – in 2012 we will be moving to End of Course exams also known as the new STAAR testing.

  3. JoJo says:

    Their advancement to the next level has already been determined by the state tests. ( I got a letter about my 5th grader a few weeks back) The point of the final exam is lost. If you don’t know if your kid should advance or stay behind until the final test, then no one has been paying attention. I have no problem with this.

  4. RussP says:

    I’m always amused by all the crying about low teacher salaries, even during the short time I was a teacher (couldn’t stand the paper work and political nonsense that went with the job). You knew what the pay was when you began studying to teach and up until federal laws were changed, the hours and 36 to 38 week work year didn’t even qualify the job as a full time position.

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