The Thought Makes Me Want to Wretch.

Dylan has exams next week.

This should not come as a surprise to parents who have been living with exams throughout their child’s education. But to me, it came as a complete shock.

Last year, our local Board of Education and the Powers That Be voted to eliminate exams from our county curriculum. And because I don’t pay attention to details in the news, I didn’t realize the new rule didn’t start until the 2016-17 school year.

Prior to the elimination, the weight of a class exam equaled the weight of a full quarter. Students had six grades, instead of four, because they had two culminating exams – one at the end of each semester. So for two hours of work, they got a grade that was exactly the same weight on their transcript as a full quarter.

So Dylan has to follow this plan for the entire first year of high school. For all of his classes, he will have six grades – and the average of those six grades will go onto his college transcript.

The thought makes me want to wretch.

Dylan tests well, but he doesn’t study well. He doesn’t sit still well. And sitting still for two hours after not studying well for two quarters – well, that’s the problem.

So he worked with his case manager to arrange an exam schedule that includes Biology (his hardest class) first, on the same day as Spanish. He has English and Geometry (both challenges) the next day. And History, which hasn’t given him much trouble, is his final exam.

And they all count for 1/6 of his final grade.

I am beyond thrilled that they are doing away with exams next year. I can’t believe they ever instituted them in the first place, given the nature of the beast. I am also thrilled that Shane will never have to experience this kind of exam.

But for now, I just want Dylan to study. I can’t make him study. I can’t force him to pretend that he’s studying. It’s his life and his choice.

But if he doesn’t study like he’s trying to pass the L-SATs this weekend, I may keel over from sheer anxiety.

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