By: Jo Rochelle
As the 2016-2017 school year begins, there are a number of changes, including a new principal, the dreaded NCFEs making a comeback, and a new tardy policy for seniors. However, the change that has more than a few students talking is the new retest policy. For non-AP classes, if you score a 90 or above on a test, you cannot retake it. If you score less than a 90, you can retest, but the highest you can make is a 90. Still an A, thanks to the ten-point grading scale, but why change the policy in the first place?
There has been a fair amount of speculation as to why the retest policy changed this year. Was it to keep kids from overachieving or because other schools don’t give retests? The answer is neither. After speaking with Mrs. Hinds, the true reason was revealed: students in previous years were abusing the old retest policy. It was common place to find students not putting in much effort on the original test and using the retest option as a crutch. The retest reform is meant to eliminate that behavior. “We still want kids to be able to get an A,” said Mrs. Hinds, “That’s why we made the highest you can get a 90.” The goal is to have more kids studying and doing well the first time around.
There seem to be mixed feelings about the new retest policy. Some students are indifferent towards or even support the decision. After all, students still have a second chance on that test they totally bombed. However, a good number of students were upset to hear the news. “I don’t like that we can only get up to a 90. That’s not going to pull my grade up as much as even a 95 or 100,” one student explained. “I want my grade to be as high as possible.” Teachers, however, welcome the reform. When speaking of previous years teaching honors classes, Mrs. Norris commented, “Kids would come in to see what was on the test and then just study those topics for the retake.” Because of the new Heritage retest policy in non-AP classes*, it is advisable for students to try their best the first time they take a test and allow the option for a retake to be just that: an option.
*Just as a reminder: in an AP class, you are allowed one retake per quarter. If you score higher on the retest, that grade will completely replace what you got on the original.