Retest policy has its ups and downs

Survey finds that 75 percent of students see the policy as beneficial

Retest policy has its ups and downs

Kazie Quinette and Madeline James, Reporters

When a student feels like they should have a better grade on a summative assessment, they are allowed to retest. The retesting policy at De Pere High School, which was adopted in 2012, gives students another chance to improve the grade they previously received on a test.

The question is, does it work?

When a Crimson Aviator survey about the retesting policy was sent out, 302 students responded. When asked if students thought the retesting policy was beneficial, 75.4% said yes, while the other 24.6% was split between “no” and “sometimes”. 

However, during interviews with the Crimson Aviator, most of the students and teachers said the opposite.

“It depends,” Zilk Kuidlan, senior, said. “Sometimes students have a struggle in the class or they just don’t care. Retesting requires a lot of certain work, and if a student doesn’t understand, that work isn’t going to be done, and they can’t retest.”

Most classes have different retesting procedures, yet not every teacher has the same requirements. Some may only need students to do the homework for the unit, while others may require the homework and extra material, making the process a bit more difficult.

“For world history sophomores, there are a couple of things I require for them to retest,” said Mrs. Belinski, a social studies teacher. “Re-learning the material in some form. They have to have all the material and all of the formatives completed before they can retest. They have within two weeks after they take the first attempt to get the re-learning done, then they can retest.”

Large quantities of time and effort are put into retesting for both the student and the teacher. Teachers need to build retest material for the students, go through questions with them, and build a new test. 

“I would say I put in probably as much work, or maybe even more,” science teacher Ms. Englebert said. “I meet them halfway. I would say they do 50% and I do the other 50%.” 

However, the grade doesn’t always improve. Even if the student has received a better grade on the original test, they cannot keep it. The policy is that whatever the retest score was, that is the new grade the student has.

“I don’t really like to retest,” Quincy Petty, junior, said. “I just like to study a lot before the test so I don’t have to try and do the retest process.”

Is all of the work, time, and effort put into the retesting process even worth it, knowing there is a chance of not bettering the grade, or will the policy improve, allowing students to want to try and get a better grade?

“I think there is always thought on reviewing things to improve it,” said assistant principal Mr. Roger Allen. “At this point it is at a departmental level, so we always encourage departments to take a look at their policies as far as they require for relearning. Though at this point, I would say it’s as is.”