I do not like finals. Sometimes they are hard, and that is not very fun. I hope that there are no more finals. That would be more fun. F-word finals. All my homies hate finals.
To be honest, I don’t have a strong opinion in regards to finals. Being a senior, I have just accepted the fact that final exams are something that cannot be avoided. However, I will say this: I just want to give a huge shoutout to my freshman year health teacher, Mr. — . You have no idea the relief I felt, knowing I was going to get at least one question on the health exam correct: Pubic lice are now being declared as the United State’s national pet: True/False. Mr. —, it is teachers like you that remind me there are still some educators that do want their students to succeed.
In my four years at Garfield, I have suffered through countless “fun” assignments. I filmed a game show for Spanish 4, drew a graphic novel for English 9, and built a website for AP Lang. In World Lit, I illustrated a poem and designed a book cover. In World History, I even built a 3D rendition of the Ajanta Caves in Minecraft.
Project-based assessment is absurd. It forces us to waste time on art and design rather than thoroughly studying the material. It gives a direct advantage to wealthy students who can afford to buy fancy supplies. Worst of all, it opens the door to rampant cheating. In my Spanish class, for example, some students used Google Translate to skate through every project.
To ensure that students are actually learning, teachers should assess their students through a good, old-fashioned final exam. In the exam room, students have no way to contact outside help, hide behind group members, or ask for an extension. So bring on the finals! Make them big and make them challenging. It’s for our own good.