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Letter: Exams are beneficial for students, teachers

Exams are beneficial for students, teachers

With my four years of high school teaching and 40 years of university teaching, I do not understand how a school district can have 70 percent opt-outs, or how it can even have 20 percent opt-outs. I have taken and given exams for 70 years and it did not hurt me. Exams are a learning process for the student, for the examiner and for the employer. Consider:

• Exams develop the students’ ability to take more important tests at a later time in life.

• Exams can be used to reveal weaknesses in knowledge that can be strengthened.

• Exam results can show weaknesses in the curriculum.

• Individual teachers and school districts can strengthen their program based upon the results.

• The results can be used to improve upon future preparation of statewide tests.

• Parents who promote the opting-out strategy are teaching their children to disrespect authority.

• Of course, the state must quickly make details of the exams for individual students available to the schools and teachers for the benefits to be realized.

• Ratings of teachers should not be considered to be unusual. Ratings are commonly done for doctors, hospitals, airlines, hotels, etc.

At the university, every student can evaluate every professor in every course and the results are public information. The results have an impact on promotions and retention of the faculty member. I have personally benefitted greatly from student evaluations and from the results of exams in adjusting my curriculum and in polishing my teaching techniques.

Wayne Anderson