The Ubiquity

State Science Exam

Picture by Amrita Sandhu

By Amrita Sandhu and Aleksandra Brajanovska

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Standardized exams are required to be administered by all states in the U.S. These tests are vital since the scores that students receive play a major role in determining individual school rankings. Different states are required to take different exams, and for students in California, the Smarter Balanced Assessment, or the SBAC, is the designated test. At Quartz Hill High School, juniors are mandated to take an English and math exam while the seniors must take a science exam. However, most of the seniors are not happy about this.

Due to the fact that only two years of science are required for graduation at Quartz Hill, most students will fulfill their science credits as freshmen and sophomores. Thus, most seniors have not received a science education in two years. Due to obvious reasons, most seniors are joyless about taking the state-administered science exam.

Daisy Wood, a senior who completed the exam, shared her opinion on why it is unfair to students: “All seniors were required to take the standardized science test, which did not make any sense to me. Similar to most students, the last time I took a science class was in sophomore year. Therefore, I found it quite unproductive and useless for this test to be administered and counted against me. In my opinion, I believe it is unfair for seniors to be required to take this test.”

Some teachers seem to be in agreement with this viewpoint and find it unnecessary and difficult for students to complete this exam. By this time of the year, seniors have received their college acceptances and are eager to graduate.

Mrs. Degroff, a long time teacher at Quartz Hill High School, expressed her opinion on why students seem opposed in completing this assessment: “It is hard this time of year to get them to take this exam seriously since seniors are distracted and overextended. They do not see a value in it.”

Some students are extremely averse to taking the exam that they chose to opt out of it completely. Several pupils truly believed that there is little benefit in taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Maggie Mihaljevich, a senior IB student, reflected on her individual experience and spoke on behalf of the seniors: “In my opinion, I do not think that we should be tested on material we learned two years ago. In fact, many students shared the same opinion and thought it was a waste of time. Even some of my peers decided to not take the exam.”

On the contrary, there are teachers who share a positive viewpoint and see the benefit of seniors taking this exam. Essentially, this exam evaluates what students have truly grasped and attained throughout their past four years of school. Additionally, it is a reflection of how well teachers instructed their courses; therefore, it is an assessment for both the teachers and students.

Mr. Glancy, an Advanced Placement and Honors Chemistry teacher, stated the beneficial reasons in taking this exam: “Personally, I think that they should have state testing because they should be assessed at the very end of their high school career to display what they’ve learned throughout the course of high school.”

Above all, the majority of the senior class and some teachers found that the Smarter Balanced Assessment served no beneficial or definite purpose.

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