Standardized testing for seniors?!

Michelle Balmeo

150 seniors will be subjected to taking standardized testing their senior year to represent MVHS in a national education report

It may be the second semester, but seniors aren't finished with their high school careers just yet. On Jan. 29, 150 randomly selected seniors will take part in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) for the first time, representing Monta Vista in a national standardized test.


The NAEP was created in 1969 to measure academic achievement across the U.S. Results from the test are published in the National Report Card, which is then used by policymakers and researchers to answer questions about the state of American education.Image


Typically, the NAEP for 12th grade is administered on a national level. That is, the results comparing individual states are not published. But this year's seniors will be the first to take the test at the state level as well.


"It's an honor—we're the only school in our district and one of 50 high schools in California chosen," assistant principal Brad Metheany said. "Indirectly, our 150 seniors will represent students from around the nation."


The randomly selected seniors will be split into three groups, each taking one of three sections of the test: English, science, or math. By forming three groups, the NAEP can evaluate many sections in depth without taking up too much school time.


Though state standardized tests like the STAR test and CAHSEE also measure student proficiency, tested material and difficulty level varies from state to state. The NAEP provides a single measure for the entire nation. Even so, many students find the testing redundant.


"I don't really like standardized testing," senior Vibhor Jain said. "It can never test for all our curriculum. I think the solution [for improving our schools] lies within the communities themselves, not at the national level."


Whether second-semester seniors will take the test seriously is yet to be seen. To provide an incentive to do well and also to thank the test takers for their time, the administration has prepared a "valuable prize" for each student who takes the NAEP, consisting of a one-day parking pass for the front of the school and bottle of Gatorade.


As for now, some seniors remain unenthusiastic in the face of yet another test.


"It's kind of like the SATs," senior Austin Ying said, "except it's not the SATs and you still have to do it."