Opt Out or Cop Out

Opt Out or Cop Out

Nathan Shube, Editor in Chief

As a senior I have been through 12 painful years of spring time standardized testing. When that has been combined with the years where I also had the High School Exit Exam, PSATs/SATs, ACTs, and the most daunting of all, AP tests, I have often felt boxed into a room of testing madness. So I get it! Last year when the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) came around, and there was a trend to opt out of taking it, the temptation was real. However, I managed to push through it, and I am very glad I did. There are some very real consequences for opting out of the test and advantages for taking the test that I didn’t know or think about at the time.

1. Colleges use the school wide results to compare schools and formulate admission decisions on students. Students who come out of high scoring schools could have that work in their favor when applying to college. If enough of our students do not take the test, the school does not qualify to have a school wide score.

2. The “Early Assessment Program” is a test that is built into the CAASPP. This test provides California State colleges and community colleges with information on students’ “college readiness.” Doing well on this portion of the test can prevent students from having to take admission tests or remedial classes at these institutions.

3. Students who are attempting to earn a Seal of Biliteracy at graduation must score a 3 or a 4 on the English Language Arts section of the CAASPP.

4. Property values for homes in our school’s community are affected by how well our school does on this test.

5. This year, the school is offering incentives for students who take the test, “some perks to make it exciting and to encourage students to take pride in our school,” Mr. Kemp explained. Incentives will include a raffle for senior parking spots for next year, tickets for the Welcome Back Dance next year, Starbucks/Carl’s Jr./ Chi-fil-A prizes, and more.

The bottom line is that we all have something to gain from the results of this test. To this year’s junior class, I say, take this test and take it seriously. Your future could be affected and more importantly, the whole school and community is counting on you. We know we have an amazing school. Here is your chance to prove it!