Keep Second Semester Final Exams optional for AP Students
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To the Homewood-Flossmoor School Board, Dr. Mansfield, and whomever it may concern,
AP students are concerned about being required to take second semester final exams in addition to AP exams.
During the school year of 2015-2016, AP students were allowed to forgo their final examinations if they took an AP examination in that same course. This minimized stress on students during the exam season and allowed them to focus on other non-AP courses equally.
During the school year of 2016-2017, teachers have stated that it is more than likely that Homewood-Flossmoor will revert to its previous testing policy, meaning that students who are signed up for the AP exam will still be required to take their final exams. Although this has not been officially announced to students, this rumor has already made many AP students nervous. Because AP exams are at the beginning of May, and finals start at the end of May, many students feel overwhelmed by the amount of studying and testing that they must complete in a short time period. Some students at H-F take up to 5 AP courses per school year. Those students will have taken 12 major exams in the course of a few weeks. Not only does this have adverse effects on a student’s mental capacity, it also has physical implications as well. By being required to take so many tests in a short period of time, many students will experience exhaustion from spending more hours of their time to study than to sleep. As more and more research surfaces regarding the negative effects of standardized tests and about the lack of sleep in adolescents, we ask that you keep in mind our mental and physical health in your decision regarding the policy.
Many students are concerned about this change, especially after just receiving word from teachers that the 12-point scale has been eliminated. As final grades now rely more on exams than on assignments, students are required to dedicate more hours of time studying in order to earn their grade. As a result, there is a heavier weight placed on second semester final examinations than in previous years. Moreover, the ultimate goal for Advanced Placement classes is to give high school students the opportunity to earn college credits. The addition of second semester final examinations to the AP examinations may hinder students’ abilities to perform at a high level, ultimately jeopardizing both their grades and college credit. The switch back to taking both tests is a complete 180 from the system students have just become accustomed to using. With such a turnaround comes confusion, and students ultimately receive the short end of the stick. As the administration, it is your job to aid the students and not hinder them.
We wish that the administration of Homewood-Flossmoor High School will maintain their policy regarding AP exams and allow those who take AP exams to forgo their final exams.
On behalf of the signees and AP students at Homewood-Flossmoor,
Eric J. Hunter-Hagerman, Vice President of the Executive Board,
Camron R. Devine, Vice President of the Senior Class,
and Joshua A. Gregory, Representative of the Senior Class
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