As Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing progresses this week, juniors are hopeful to have the opportunity to go to Magic Mountain as an incentive for high test participation rate and improved scores.
According to Principal Joe Bova, the school must have at least a 98 percent participation rate and overall score higher than last year’s in the Math and English-Language Arts portions of the test.
No more than five students in the junior class, the only class testing this year, can opt out of the test and still fulfill the participation requirement.
As reported by Bova, zero junior students have opted out of the test so far. This means that if scoring requirements are met, juniors will have achieved the SBAC testing goals and will be rewarded with the Magic Mountain trip.
Bova hopes that the “junior class does their best, based on this being the second year of the test.”
He also thinks that with “them having another year of being taught with more common core strategies, they’ll have a good shot doing it.”
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Eleventh grade English teacher Jennifer Kindred also hopes and believes that her students will do better than last year’s score so that they can go on the Magic Mountain trip.
“I’m positive the students do not enjoy [the tests], but a standardized measure of student achievement is […] important to the teachers and the staff to see ‘Hey here’s a weakness we must work on, we have to do something better,’” Kindred said.
So far her students have been “incredibly diligent and incredibly patient.” While she believes it is not overly stressful for students to take the SBAC, it is a pain to work through the test.
Last year, testing was scheduled from April 27 to May 1, right before AP testing. This year the testing time frame was changed to the week of May 23, which is after AP testing.
“I think this has been a lot smoother than last year, so I think moving the test away from the AP tests was a good move, although it means that when we get back from testing we have virtually no time before finals,” Kindred concluded.
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Junior Malia Miyashiro has faith that the juniors will “be able to do it, but it will be hard.” She explained that they “didn’t get that much prep time because of AP testing and studying.”
“When you put a bunch of pressure on students it’s not good,” Miyashiro continued. She feels that requiring students to get higher scores than last year is excessive. “I think people just trying and participating should be enough.”
Overall, she is confident in the junior class and is hopeful towards getting high scores. “I think we’ll do pretty well,” Miyashiro said.
Photo Illustration Credit: Kazu Koba / The Foothill Dragon Press