Technically I had another Dutch lesson last night but there was no new grammar so it is harder to figure out blog post themes. So let’s write about something different – tests!
Final exams for Dutch school children started on Monday.These tests are administrated for children 12 years and older. You can see this year’s schedule (in Dutch).
Of course we had the same sort of tests in America, although the concept of taking the same test as everyone in the country is a bit foreign to me. Our end-of-year exams were generally written by the teacher. However, during the school year itself we would sometimes have to take standardized tests, where everyone in the state and in the same grade level would take the test on the same day. These tests would be used to measure achievement levels within the state. Standardized testing became even more prevalent after 2002 when the No Child Left Behind Act was passed.
Imagine my surprise when I heard that another feature of the Dutch eindexamens (final exams) was the ability to call a number and complain! They received over 7,000 complaints the first day (in Dutch). At times it was over 100 complaints per minute. Generally the complaints are that the test is too difficult or the student did not have enough time to finish the test – if enough people complain, they look at the test and decide whether they need to adjust it and give higher marks. The service also receives complaints for things like too much noise from construction outside; the complaint is then forwarded to the school.
It just seems so strange. Maybe we had the option to call a number and complain when I was a kid – but I never heard about it.
And one of the weirder complaints so far this week – a student complained when he had to sit behind another student who had pimples on his neck (Dutch article), which he found too distracting to be able to concentrate properly on his test. Okay then…