Repeal East Brunswick BOE decision to eliminate midterm and final exams
Dear East Brunswick Board of Education,
We are writing in protest of the recent decision made to eliminate midterm and final exams in both Churchill Junior High School and East Brunswick High School.
East Brunswick High School has always been well-known throughout the state for the high quality of education it provides to students. It has contributed to the pride and the success not only of the students, but also of the township overall. In fact, in 2014, our high school was ranked #47, a sharp improvement from #121 in 2012.
If this upward trend is reversed, our township will suffer from lowered property values, deeply impacting all East Brunswick residents regardless of whether or not they have children currently in the system.
Moreover, the cumulative nature of midterms and final exams is critical to the success of our students, who can and should be able to gather what they have learned and present that knowledge back to their teachers in a comprehensive and cohesive way. It will help them understand the relationships between the concepts they learn as they become “big-picture learners.”
In most universities, grades are determined largely by midterms and final exam grades, if not completely. And while reducing the anxiety of our students is important, teaching our students how to handle their anxiety in stressful situations is equally important. Pampering them will ultimately hurt our students and leave them ill-prepared for college. In the real world, they will contend against students from all corners of the world for jobs and recognition in an increasingly globalized market. If East Brunswick cannot compete in the state, how will it compete against Finland, Canada or Japan?
While we are aware of the plan to implement an alternative quarterly exam system, we firmly believe it will prove insufficient. The BOE’s plan of execution is too ambiguous in its current state, and does not specify how quarterlies will reduce testing days.
The East Brunswick Public Schools System’s motto is “Excellence in Academics, Athletics and the Arts”. How can we live up to it when it is so clear that the academics are missing?
Jasmine Wang, Class of 2013 and Kimberly Zhang, Class of 2007