Student Learning Objective Exam!

Okay, guys.  I know there are lots of rumors floating around out there about your SLO exams, so let me see what I can do to dispel some myths about SLOs not counting and such.  I considered not posting this, but (a) the information herein is a matter of public record, and (b) if this lessens the rampant, often inaccurate, gossip, it’s probably a good thing.  Especially since we are scheduled to take the SLO tomorrow.

There have been on-going discussions within the county regarding the effectiveness, fairness, and implementation of current Student Learning Objective exams all year long, although you may not have been aware of them.  Many of these exams have been determined to be poorly constructed, and therefore the Cobb County School Board decided yesterday that student performance on SLOs should not negatively affect students’ grades.  I could (and do) wish that the decision had been made earlier, but if wishes were horses….

Now.  What does this policy change mean for you?

  • You will still be taking the SLO for AP World History tomorrow, as planned.
  • You should still STUDY for your SLO tomorrow, as planned.

But wait!  If SLOs can’t negatively affect your overall grade, why should you still care about your SLOs?

  • Because if you perform well on the SLO, the exam WILL count for 10% of your overall grade; that is a county-mandated requirement.  If the score you earn on your SLO would hurt your overall grade, it will NOT count.  Some of you could really benefit from a strong performance on this exam.
  • Because while many SLO exams are problematic, your AP World History SLO is made up primarily of AP and AP-level questions.  Your performance on this SLO should be a good indicator of your current readiness for the AP subject exam coming in May.
  • Because it should be a matter of personal pride that you ALWAYS do your best on assessments, no matter what they are.

What does this mean in terms of your SLO study packet and timelines?

  • I WILL find a way to give you credit for the work you do, although it may not be in the way I initially intended to do it.
  • Currently, I’m leaning towards creating two assignments in the Test/Quizzes category, each weighted a little less than a quiz.  Completion of the study guide and timelines could earn you a 100% on each assignment.  However, I’m still working out the math on that one, so I may alter my assessment there.

There are a lot of other questions swirling around right now, too– I’m thinking a lot today about fairness, transparency, communication,  and– above all else– what is best for you all as my students, and as my fellow adventurers in AP World History.  I don’t have all the answers at the moment; I anticipate spending much of this coming weekend thinking about what I want to do– so if you come up to me tomorrow and ask me what the plan is, I probably won’t have it all worked out yet.

But here’s one thing I know: you guys know this material far better than you think you do.  Remember that it’s just a test.  You’re much, much bigger than it is.  You can totally take it.  So take a deep breath, look over that study guide one more time, get a good night’s sleep, and come in tomorrow ready to win.

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