Getting Rid of the Benchmark

Getting Rid of the Benchmark

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Minh Tran started this petition to sean.bulson@hcps.org and

Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the county is forcing the secondary schools to give their students the benchmark. Those assessments should tell teachers about what skills their students know, and what to teach during the course. The teachers are also putting the scores into the HCPS grading system, Home Access Center. Sounds fair, right? Not at all!

The benchmark includes questions that students might not understand that would be used to tell teachers about how good the students are. Teachers also said this would be graded for accuracy. If the teacher said this, students would worry. For example, my class took the Winter Math Benchmark. It contained questions that students hadn't learn yet, or don't know the answer to. According to the directions to hcps, students can only have 50 minutes to take the test. Usually, assessments would usually take 60 minutes. In PARCC, they even allowed students to have 90 minutes to complete the whole thing. This is not fair at all. What happens if the students try very hard to have an A in that class? Are you just going to make teachers give a test to students that they hadn't learned about and letting them fail? Math is one of the hardest subjects that students struggled with. I talked to students about what they got. Many students get Bs and Cs. One horrible grade on the Benchmark can screw up their grades big time. Some teachers in the county don't give students enough opportunities to improve their grades or give extra credit. Does one assignment mean students get a low grade for the quarter?

This problem doesn't affect only students. Teachers are affected too, especially those who teach honors. Teachers are already on a tight schedule. They don't see their students every day. Also, if there is a snow day, they have to make up the lesson. If the benchmark is given to students, teachers might not get to finish what they need to teach. This can cause students to get low scores on standardized testing, like PARCC.

If you guys are reading this, please sign this petition and leave a comment about the situation. HCPS should focus on teaching and helping students instead of giving Benchmarks of something they've never learned before. I'm not saying you have to make grades too easy for the class, I would like the grades to be fair.

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