Sophomores gear up for tests

Administration weighs in on why they think 10th graders have to take so many assesments

Students+take+a+test+in+physics+teacher+Stacey+Matlock%27s+room.+Sophomores+have+to+take+five+standardized+tests%2C+and+sophomore+Burmese+students+have+to+take+a+total+of+six.+within+the+course+of+the+school+year.

Melissa Bushong

Students take a test in physics teacher Stacey Matlock’s room. Sophomores have to take five standardized tests, and sophomore Burmese students have to take a total of six. within the course of the school year.

David Worland, Reporter

Sophomores have to take a potential of six tests, which according to Assistant Principal Amy Boone, is more than what any other age group at SHS has to take.

Boone, who oversees these tests, says that they serve as gauges for how well students are doing and to make sure all schools are following the state standards. According to Boone, sophomores have to take these tests because it’s more beneficial with the state determining how well schools are doing as a whole.

“Each school and school district gets a letter grade,” Boone said, “and our’s is based off the results of the ISTEP.”

Tests taken by sophomores include ISTEP Math, ISTEP English, ISTEP Biology, for sophomores who haven’t taken Biology yet, PSAT and Evaluate. EL sophomore students have to take additional test along with the others, which is known as WIDA. WIDA is a test that helps EL students with advancing in academic languages and advancing in academic achievement.

Boone says that she prefers Evaluate over ISTEP, due to the fact that the results of Evaluate tests are received within the next month, and ISTEP takes longer to show the results. Evaluate is only taken with English and Math, and the results of the tests are shown to students as soon as they finish the test via percentage.

Boone believes that it’s better to get monthly results so teachers can adjust how they’re teaching their students while ISTEP, on the other hand, doesn’t show results until months after the test is taken.

Sophomore Colston Streit, who says he will continue to take these tests if he has to, still doesn’t agree with the testing.

“We’re sophomores and we did the PSAT,” Streit said. “It seems unnecessary with having ISTEP.”

Streit also says he understands why students don’t like taking the tests and why some students find it “annoying”.

While Boone supports Evaluate testing, she says that the testing as a whole seems to take away time that can spent learning in the classroom.

“It gets frustrating for the classroom teachers and the students,” Boone said, “but unfortunately, it’s what we have to do right now and we try to make the best of it.”

Boone also says that, even though it’s not  yet official, these tests will still be in place the upcoming sophomores next school year.