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Retesting: a Look at the New Cap

Retesting is an option for students who do not attain mastery to have a second try at their assignment. It has always been available for those who made below an 80 to attempt mastery a second time. In previous years, retest grades were calculated by taking 30% of the old, non-mastery grade and 70% of the grade from the retest. This could allow students who made a 79% on their original assignment to make up to a 94% after retesting.

However, with the 2017-18 school year, a new rule for retesting has been introduced. The new rule still allows for students who made below an 80 to retest, with the exception that the new grade cannot be above an 80.

For example, a student makes a 76% on a test. This student attends office hours and retests that Friday, scoring a 91% on the new test. Under the old system, the student would make an 87% overall. With the updated rules, that 87% would be brought down to an 80%. This grade is still mastery, just not as high as it could be under the old rules.

Many students have stated that they do not like this new rule, as it doesn't award the points they scored.

Some see the rule as yet another way that Administration is trying to make this year tougher for students, which includes the zero-tolerance late grade list. Freshman Ansley Mason said that "...if the teachers are changing the assignment entirely, they should make a grade at least above 80%."

Senior Lola Tyler offered her solution, which would make teachers and students more happy. She said that "teachers should decide the cap for their own class or department. They know the students more than anyone else."

There is a reason behind this decision, however. According to Assistant Principal James Dillard, the new rule allows for a fairer retesting system for all students. Imagine if, on the same test discussed earlier, a different student made an 84%. This student would not be allowed to retest as they made above an 80%; however, a student who originally failed ended up with a higher score in the end.

This would give an unfair advantage to the student that originally scored lower on the test. Dillard said that the new rule was implemented "in an effort to make things as fair as possible" regarding students' academic achievements. Students should give their full effort in preparation for a test, not have to rely on doing it again after they fail.

This rule allows for testing to be equal across all students, with those scoring higher still being able to score higher than one who had to do the assignment over again. More importantly, it gives more agency to the student and allows them to make better decisions regarding their test preparation.

Whether students like it or not, the rule is here to stay. While it may seem unfair at first, it is worth looking into in order to understand the reasoning behind its implementation. Ultimately, it is up to the student to take the opportunity given to them through retesting.