And we would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling authentic assessments!

Soterios H., Staff Writer

To reflect the immense differences in daily schooling, instead of school-administered exams taking place in gyms and classrooms this June, the ‘authentic assessment’ has been implemented.

According to lead history teacher, Dr. Michael Jeziorski the authentic assessment is a holistic approach to assessing what students have learned this year in their classes. Along this same line of thought, students are able to display what has interested them the most about their courses. This is very different from the traditional sit-down exams, as students used to have to respond to specific prompts and solve multiple choice and short answer questions in a very structured manner not allowing for any form of self-expression at all. 

While this concept is new to CHS, it is not at all uncommon in other districts. Some schools have never had end of the year course exams, even in “normal” years. Instead, they build a portfolio to which the student contributes to at the end of each year, as Jeziorski described.

The decision to use the authentic assessment was made by the teachers of each department. Furthermore, many ideas were filtered through each department before landing on this final selection. Authentic assessments will also differ based on which course students are taking. For example, the history department’s authentic assessment for IB HOTA will be the revised version of each junior’s Internal Assessment. 

According to Jeziorski, all students should benefit from the new alternative. In the past, if a student had a great educational year, but performed poorly on their final exams, their grades would be negatively affected. Yet, the authentic assessments counter this situation because each student will have weeks to work on each of their projects.

Finally, the authentic assessment will not be counted the same as traditional final exams. However, all departments are required to count the exam the same way. The authentic assessment grade will be averaged into the fourth marking period and count for 20% of a students grade in each class for this last quarter. Thus, it will not be a stand-alone grade like the previous exams were. 

While this form of assessment has been popular amongst students, it is unclear whether next year’s midterms and finals will return to their original format. 🔳