State Testing

State testing. We’ve done it every year ever since I can remember. It started with the huge packets that was at least 50 + pages, then it moved to online testing. I remember specifically sitting in the computer lab, dumbfounded, mouth agape, staring at a computer screen instead of 100 dead trees.

Over the past few years they’ve called it a different name every year with a different skill set required for the testing. That not only stresses out the students, but the teachers as well. Without uniform tests to base their class on how are they expected to fully prepare their students for the test at hand?

You’d think that the state would want to be consistent with the one thing they are basing their test on which in turn affects the teachers’ “performance levels” and the students’ graduation points.

Last year’s test and this year’s test, however, look to be fairly similar and the testing dates are about the same. Which also means that sophomores get slammed with the sheer amount of testing they are put through, the most out of all the grades.

The whole week set aside for the state testing doesn’t even have enough days for all of the tests. Sophomores have one more test on Tuesday the following week, their biology test. Therefore blowing the state’s idea of spending more time in class right out of the water.

The state tests are meant to do good though. They are used to judge how well teachers are teaching their students and if the students are meeting the standards set by the state. Although it is a good thought, the way the state is going about it is completely wrong.

Teachers are having to deal with lost class time, which is the only time they have with their students to make sure they understand the material they are presenting. However, with the state testing comes a time called “March Madness”, March Madness is the time before state testing where a teacher has to stop moving forward in their class and do “Air test prep”. So on top of having six days of shortened classes where their students are stressed out over the test at hand, they also have to spend a week, at least – if not more, reviewing for the state tests. In total, the teachers are missing a chance to be teaching a new unit or half a book in English class.

The students themselves are even taking a hit. Since teachers are having to prepare for the test weeks in advance, students are missing valuable class time that could be used to go deeper into the subject, but instead are being forced to spend class time reviewing.

Another issue is homework load. Since teachers don’t want to completely stop their class to review, a lot of teachers turn to adding more homework to keep up with the review and keep moving forward in their class. Therefore, adding to March Madness.

March Madness needs to stop, wasted class time needs to stop, and students stressing about getting enough points to graduate needs to stop. The state needs to assess their schools in a way that will not harm the students education they are testing. Students will still be successful, after all, we did send a man to the moon before state testing was around.

Zoey Napierala, Staff Writer

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