At some point in the journey from kindergarten to high school graduation, every kid reaches a point when they begin to feel like education is no longer about growth and learning, rather, about cramming and grades. At East, this realization usually comes about two weeks into freshman year. For all of East’s academic prowess, there’s little doubt that that it creates an environment of competition and stress, not one of wholesome learning. However, by mandating corrections for every failed test, up to a 65, East could simultaneously save a lot of students from heartache, and create a more holistic approach to learning.
The academic environment at East is fast-paced and hectic, with students often cramming entire units of work in just a few days. While this allows students to learn a lot, it also means any information they don’t fully pick up the first time over will likely just never be acquired. This is very destructive in the long-term, and leads to students sometimes just completely failing to learn about certain concepts. For example, if a student fails an AP US History test because they never had time to learn something fully, they’ll never have time to go back over that idea because, by even the day after the test, the class has moved on. By mandating test corrections, the school would provide a crucial opportunity to students to review ideas they struggled with originally, meaning they’d understand them for the long-term and be better off. Forcing students to go over sections of work they hadn’t fully understood in the first place would give them a more comprehensive base of knowledge, allowing them to do better on things like AP exams and NCFEs. Additionally, it would go a long way to reinforce the idea that school is all about learning and gaining new knowledge, not desperately cramming for A’s.
Also, there’s the fact than in an environment as competitive as East, kids have a lot going on, and one or two assignments can easily slip through the cracks. It doesn’t mean students are lazy or deserve to be punished, but the truth is that there are situations where students can’t feasibly study their hardest for a test, and bombing a test can sometimes single-handedly wreck a quarter or semester grade. By allowing students to correct test grades up to a 65, the school wouldn’t suddenly be handing out free A’s left and right, but would be allowing students who really struggled with a certain test an invaluable opportunity to save a seemingly-disastrous situation. This would really help reduce the stress and desperation that many students feel whenever the schedule gets particularly tight.
Ultimately, mandating test corrections would give students a more comprehensive learning experience and help to reduce stress, both of which are noble goals that East should be aiming to do. While obviously not a final solution, this would be a good first step, and show that East really cares about its students and is responsive to their issues.