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Good Day!

I am an Instruction & Assessment Consultant with a school district in Northern Canada.
Currently, while our teachers are proficient in differentiating classroom assessment, we are
still operating within a very traditional framework in terms of assigning final grades. Recently,
our government approved a change that will see standardized tests in grade 12 lowered from
a 50% weight to a 30% weight within a student's overall grade. This will create a ripple effect
as begin to evaluate how we assess within the grade 7-12 system.

Now, onto my question. Historically, we give our grade 7 and 8 students a final exam in June
that covers content/skills from the entire school year in one sitting. It weights at 15% and
20%, respectively. I am using this change in grade 12 exam weighting as an opportunity to
reflect on this final exam procedure in 7th and 8th grade. What is your opinion on this setup?
What research might you suggest I consider that will convince administration that a 90-
minute cumulative final exam in grade 7 and 8 is not what is best for student learning? Do
you suggest an alternative to the final exam? I know we will have to have some form of final
assessment, however I'd like it to be designed with our students' best interest in mind.

Thank you for your time.



I am not in favour of weighting based on assessment types or timing and I am totally
opposed to the use of percentages. Grades should be determined by the student's most
consistent level of performance with considerable emphasis on more recent
achievement. I think that there should be a well thought out, coherent assessment plan
for every course/class and in most cases from grade 7 up and the plan should include
some sort of culminating final assessment. More often than not that assessment should
be a performance assessment that provides students opportunities to write, do and say.