Aiden Rood ('23)
Cherry Hill High School East will not return to administering traditional final exams in future years, East’s principal Dr. Dennis Perry confirmed in an interview with Eastside on Tuesday. The exams will be permanently replaced by portfolio-based assessments that are currently being developed and will still aim to assess students’ cumulative learning.
Speaking about the decision to move away from final exams going forward, Perry said “The idea that final exams prepare kids for college… is just not believed to be true.” He later added, “The reality is that we need to provide instruction and education for the students that we have in front of us, not for the students who they will be in three years.”
This year, East is offering students the chance to complete final reflection projects in place of final exams or portfolios. These projects are intended to serve as a transition between exams and portfolios and to accommodate circumstances that students are facing in the ongoing pandemic. Perry said that in connection with students’ increased struggles during the pandemic with mental health and academics, administrators wanted this year’s final assessments to be unable to harm students’ grades. As such, the final reflection projects are optional for students to complete. They will be completed from June 10 to June 15 during a special class schedule (shown above).
This year’s final reflection projects will offer students an opportunity to raise their final grades by two percentage points, a number which Perry said was enough to entice students but was not enough to be grade inflation. In the future, the portfolio assessments will not offer the same two-point addition.