Prior Lake-Savage Schools End Controversial Testing Practice

Updated: 04/24/2014 10:12 PM
Created: 04/24/2014 7:19 PM
By: Jay Kolls

The Prior Lake-Savage School District decided to not allow teachers to award extra credit for scratch paper work connected to state-mandated exams. 

An email from a math teacher at Hidden Oaks Middle School indicates they are giving students extra credit based on turning in their scratch paper used to solve the math problems. Prior Lake-Savage Assistant Superintendent Jeff Holmberg, says teachers using the extra credit have not done anything wrong with the standardized math testing, "kids are just using the scratch paper and handing it in at the end of the test procedure and that's all under the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) protocol."

But, other teachers in the district complained saying the only way to hand out extra credit points for scratch paper test problems is to study students' notes. That they say, would give math teachers at Hidden Oaks an unfair advantage by allowing them to determine what questions were asked and giving them a chance to "teach to the test" next year.

School District officials say they reviewed the practice and have decided to not allow awarding extra credit for scratch paper results on the math exams. School officials also reiterate that there has been no evidence to suggest teachers have done anything wrong or unethical using the extra credit program.

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