Freshmen, Juniors Get Tested

Days off for some, tough days for others

Jasmina Abdic, Social Chair

Many Leyden students will soon enjoy two days off of school while others complete a series of state-mandated tests.
On March 15, juniors will take the ACT in the morning while students in English I courses will take each of the PARCC ELA tests throughout the day. On March 17, only students enrolled in Algebra 1 courses will attend.
This means a day off for some, such as seniors, and two long days for most freshmen.

Last year, the district considered multiple approaches to the PARCC testing schedule; they were new tests. The school wanted to plan according to the PARCC testing time frames but also making sure that their own academic schedule was running.

They gave last year’s freshmen (this year sophomores) the PARCC test within a two week time frame, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes in the morning. According to English department chairperson Mr. John Rossi, it turned out to be problematic because the irregular testing schedule led to students being in and out of classrooms at odd times and interrupted instruction.

This year the administration changed the schedule, deciding to give the PARCC test within just two days, insuring that teachers get more regular classroom schedules. The potential downfall of this PARCC schedule is its length. Students will take multiple tests in one day, and because the tests are still new and designed to be difficult, the days will be quite challenging for students. Even when the tests were delivered in chunks last year, that problem arose.

Rossi said, “Unfortunately, I had a couple of students [in the group I watched] who didn’t realize how much the test really required of them. I also began to notice students not fully sticking through it all as much as I would have wanted them to.”

Mr. Jeremy Babel, the Math department chair, agreed: “I did see some students who finished fairly quickly, and it was off balance, but I still made sure to encourage the students that were trying their best to ensure they were thinking positively.”

Even though the test days will be tough, Rossi stated, “Not to worry if you have never seen the test before. This is all information you’ve been taught from our teachers here at Leyden. There are also practice tests that will be available so students can really see the shape of the PARCC and get a better grip of how it really works.”

Babel said, “I would inform my students myself that I am willing to always help after school and that the questions themselves are very good questions used in possibly every day lessons.“

PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and it tests student strictly based on mathematics and English grade K-12.

Many states have withdrawn from PARCC altogether. PARCC was first administered to 24 states, these states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. Only nine states were left giving the 2014-2015 tests.