District implements new (old) final exemption policy


In an effort to advance Alief’s final exams’ system, the district reverted to the old system.

Starting this school year, the district has put into effect a new final exam policy to replace the one used last year. Previously, in hopes of adapting to the new STAAR End-Of-Course exams, the Alief district had reduced the final exams to count as 15 percent of the overall grade and had allowed students to exempt classroom final exams assuming they met all the requirements. Now, Alief’s new policy looks a lot like the one it followed before EOC tests came along. Final exams exemption policy have now been “revised” to count as 20 percent of the overall grade.

To qualify for an exemption in the class, a student must have an 80 average in a Pre-AP/AP class or 85 average in a regular class. The student must also not owe any library fines or textbook money. No more than two absences to school, excused or unexcused, and two tardies to a class or advisory will be allowed to qualify for an exemption. Assignment to Good Choices, Kerr’s detention, or stricter penalty infractions for discipline or academic integrity issues during that term, automatically disqualifies the applicant from all exemptions for that term. No more than two office referrals will be allowed to qualify for an exemption.

This year, the district has raised the final exams to count as 20 percent of the overall grade. The number of exemptions allowed per grade level is still the same as last year.

9th Grade: Terms 1 and 3- No Exemptions; Terms 2 and 4- 1 Exemption
10th Grade: 1 Exemption per Term
11th Grade: Terms 1 and 3- 1 Exemption; Terms 2 and 4- 2 Exemptions
12th Grade: Terms 1 and 3- 2 Exemptions; Terms 2 and 4- 4 Exemptions

No exemptions in core classes during the 1st and 3rd terms for 9th through 11th grade.

While this change will benefit some people, it may do the exact opposite for others. Increasing the weight of the final exam in the overall grade for the class means the final exam will have more effect on students who decide to take the final. For some students, this may actually help by increasing the chances of bringing that 88 or 89 up to a 90. For others, however, this just means that they may have to study harder to keep their A if they are  not able to exempt all their finals.