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Final Exams? Try “Roundtables” Instead

Melanie didn't need to pass a final exam to prove that her civics class had taught her a ton about effective political organizing. Through an alternative year-end evaluation, Melanie, a junior at Metropolitan Business Academy, read excerpts from a research paper and talked about the skills she’d picked up in writing it — a self-assessment that her teacher argued gave a better sense of her growth than a single test could ever measure. In a trend that’s taking hold across Metro, a regional magnet school known for its critical approach to pedagogy, more and more teachers are holding "roundtables," instead of giving final exams. In those sessions, students share a portfolio or perform a task for

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