Exclude Exams

Drew Stangelo, Chief Sports

As is tradition in most schools across the country, semester exams took place as usual here at Hoover High School. Although, exams come with the usual grumblings of students and staff alike, this year, which was like no other, those grumblings were louder than ever. If this was a normal year where learning environments were normal, exams could be given fairly. However, with the global pandemic rearing its ugly head on schools across America, especially Hoover High School, semester exams should have been canceled or limited so that students had a fair shot at scoring as well as they could on said exams during a normal year.
In a normal year, it is totally reasonable for teachers to give an exam and expect their students to have the needed knowledge in order to succeed on the assessment. In fact, there are some who believe exams actually help students. Semester exams can encourage better studying habits that can be used later in life and can also tell teachers and students where they’re at in their education process. Students can reap these benefits in a normal, non-shortened school year.
However, this year has been anything but normal.
Many positive cases, as well as coming in close contact with someone who had tested positive, have kept students away from school. With most quarantines lasting somewhere between 1-2 weeks, this is valuable time that students are spending away from the classroom.
Although students are still able to access some classes virtually, it just is not the same quality of learning. Many students chose in-person schooling for a reason, mostly due to the fact that they felt they were more comfortable in a hands-on environment compared to a totally virtual setting. With quarantines forcing some to go remote, it just didn’t set up a good, sound and meaningful learning experience.
COVID-19 is what is to blame.
Taking this into account, a student should never have a disadvantage on any test, especially a semester exam. It just isn’t fair, especially since many students’ absences are out of their control. A great thing about schools is that if you work hard, there’s a fairly high chance you’ll succeed.
As for the ones who don’t, their grades reflect it. However, this year, at no fault of their own, students are being put in a non-advantageous position due to missing time despite hard work.
To ensure a fair and just environment in a year like 2020, exams should have been suspended considering all the disadvantages some students had compared to others. Although in a normal year, exams are totally fair and reasonable to give, 2020 was a year like no other; as a result, some steps should have been taken to reflect that in the form of a cancellation of semester exams.