Prohibiting paper exams in BSD, until full in-person learning resumes

Prohibiting paper exams in BSD, until full in-person learning resumes

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Ishan Sinha started this petition to Bellevue School District

Over the past few weeks, high school students across the Bellevue School District have been informed that we will be returning to in-person learning by the end of April. Given the poor mental health in an online school setting, the district kindly offered students the opportunity to change their decision to remain virtual.

Many of my classmates expressed an interest in switching, considering that they have not seen friends in almost one year. However, of the students contemplating changing, a large portion decided to stay online. The main concern expressed was the negative impact in-person learning would have on their grades.

Teachers that are returning have disclosed plans to conduct tests in person. Paper exams are the largest source of concern regarding students suffering academically. Therefore, there are two reasons why we urge the Board and Office of Superintendent to issue a statement prohibiting the administration of in-person tests in any class until all students return:

        1) Primarily, students recognize that in-person learning has benefits in terms of comprehension and communicating with teachers. However, the district’s tentative schedule allocates only one 50-minute period per week for each class. This time is critical for students preparing for Advanced Placement Tests and those who struggle with learning online. If teachers are able to administer paper tests, this leaves almost no time for real, in-person learning.

         2) Studies have shown that “students in online learning performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction”. While cheating is often attributed as the main cause, further research concluded that “higher rates of academic dishonesty occur in live courses”. Online tests are taken in a low-pressure environment and on a flexible schedule.

After struggling through a full year of learning online, students deserve the right to make a choice of returning to in-person learning without the fear of struggling academically. Thus, to ensure that all students have an equitable opportunity to perform well on tests, it is of a paramount importance that a policy is implemented by The Bellevue School District to prohibit the administration of paper tests in any class until full in-person learning resumes.

 

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