In our educational environment, tests play a large role in determining the grades that students receive. Specifically, many students take numerous academically-challenging classes, and thus are required to balance a plethora of tests, major projects and essays on a weekly basis.
Since many students take classes that regularly administer tests, and units are generally around the same length (two to three weeks), almost every student experiences weeks during which they are overloaded with unit tests and projects. Naturally, during these weeks, students are inclined to ask teachers to change their test or project due dates.
When teachers deny students the flexibility to change these dates, they oftentimes assume students only want to move their tests because they are slacking off and procrastinating. However, in reality, most students are just trying to manage their class loads while recieving an adequate amount of sleep.
Therefore, teachers should understand that when students request to move a test, it is not because they do not work hard in school and could not prepare ahead of time, but rather because it is more advantageous for them to be able to study for another test or finish a project, and then solely focus on studying for that test. In this way, teachers who assume the worst in their students and do not allow adjustment of test dates are often insensitive to students who want to balance out their workloads in a more manageable way, contributing to the problem of student stress and mental health.
The Campanile commends the teachers who are flexible in allowing students to alter test dates. However, we think a school-wide policy that mandates teachers to permit the rescheduling of exams should be implemented.
In order to eliminate students who actually do procrastinate on studying and want to use this policy as a means to push off their tests, the policy should require students to talk to their teachers about the possibility of moving their tests a week prior to the formally scheduled test date.
Additionally, teachers should require students to provide a detailed explanation of what other activities, projects and tests that they have near that test date, in order to gauge the students reasoning. In order to streamline this process, the District should create a form for students to list other academic or extracurricular commitments that would potentially conflict with testing dates.
These predetermined rules would ensure clear communication between teachers and students regarding the modification of test dates and would also eliminate the possibility of students merely putting off taking their tests. By requiring all teachers to allow for adjustment of test dates and standardizing the process through which these adjustments may occur, we can create a more relaxed, open educational environment at Paly.