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Province lowers diploma exam weighting

March 24, 2015 ATA News Staff

Change is good news for students, says ATA president

Lowering the weighting of diploma exams from 50 per cent to 30 per cent is a good step for students, said Alberta Teachers’ Association President Mark Ramsankar.

Education Minister Gordon Dirks announced the change on March 16. It will take effect Sept. 1.

“This is good news for students,” Ramsankar said.

For years the Association has called for diploma exams to be worth 20 per cent of a student’s final grade.

“Students spend months in class performing a wide variety of assignments, so teachers are in the best position to assess their knowledge and abilities. For that reason, the teacher mark provides a much richer indicator than a single essay question that a student spends three hours producing,” Ramsankar said.

In a news release, Dirks agreed with this assessment, stating that this change in diploma exam weighting will provide a more accurate reflection of student performance by putting a greater weight on teachers’ assessments.

“We want students to benefit from classroom assessments that reflect their abilities over a longer period of time, rather than relying so heavily on one assessment lasting only a few hours,” Dirks said.

Ramsankar added that it’s important to maintain the existing exam format, with a written component combined with a multiple choice portion.

“The rigour of the exams should not change just because the weighting has,” he said. ❚

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