Substitute Teacher Testing Resolution

Sponsored by LHS Student-Faculty Senate, passed on in 2011

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Recognizing the constitutional restriction forbidding the Student/Faculty Senate from legislating how teachers organize their courses and evaluate their students, but observing the need for all students to have equal and fair opportunities for evaluation,

The Student/Faculty Senate hereby resolves that faculty members should not give major exams or tests on days when they are absent and the class is being taught by a substitute teacher.

Rationale: When teachers choose to postpone tests, they often begin teaching curriculum that will be included in the next assessment, aware that students need to continue working even if their evaluation is delayed. If a substitute teacher is present, the teacher could leave alternative work for the students, with the assumption that they will check the work upon their return and/or that the students will be responsible for that material on the next unit’s assessment. When substitute teachers are responsible for giving tests, they are often not aware of special testing accommodations given to individual students, and are less able to make decisions regarding a student’s need to take the assessment on a different day or receive other accommodations (e.g. typing an essay instead of handwriting it). Substitute teachers are unable to answer students’ inquiries regarding confusing test questions covering material the student comprehends. Substitutes therefore cannot give the clarification that a teacher might provide, and so the student might not receive credit for material they understand. Cheating is more likely to occur when a teacher is not present to supervise as a class takes a test. The presence of a teacher during administration of an assessment greatly discourages violations of the LHS Honor Code. The Student/Faculty Senate’s Junior-Senior Substitute Bill (10-94) allows for teachers to cancel classes composed solely of upperclassmen in the event of the teacher’s absence, provided they feel students could use the time productively and the teacher leaves an assignment for the students. While teachers may sometimes feel it is not advantageous to cancel class, this option provides teachers with an additional alternative to giving a major assessment in a class taught by a substitute.