Class of 2017 drops the ball with SBAC scores

The scores from last spring’s SBAC testing are back, and they aren’t pretty. Students from the Class of 2017 scored lower than students from the Class of 2016 in both English and math.

Juniors from the class of 2016 and 2017 took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, a Common Core exam, in each of the last two springs. The test determines whether students will be exempted from the CSU placement exams and an early start program during the summer before college. The SBAC is divided into two main parts: English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.

Current seniors scored 62 on the ELA and 46 on math, lower than the Class of 2016’s 69 and 48.

Many didn’t believe the SBAC was important, which could account for the lower scores.

“I feel like it was a giant waste of time when we could have been studying,” said senior Gaëlle Boussaroque. “We got really far behind in class.”

SBAC testing was spread out over the course of a few days, and ultimately absorbed some much needed study time.

Most seniors seem to think that CVHS should seek out a more efficient schedule for future SBAC testing.

Senior Steven Yang agreed saying that many students opted out “mainly because they felt like it wasn’t an efficient use of time.”

Despite some students’ evident unhappiness with the timing of the test, the number of opt-outs was significantly lower than last year’s testing session. More than 200 students opted out of the test in 2015. Only half as many did so in 2016, said Assistant Principal Jesse Hansen.

“We did get some opt-outs telling us that, ‘I just took a test for two weeks, I’m not taking any more,’” Hansen said.

The schedule is tough to fit in at the end of the year, during a specific window of time that also contains AP testing and finals. Although students might feel trapped in an endless cycle of testing, the SBAC is still important. Many people fail to recognize the significance of putting effort into the SBAC, but success has many benefits.

“It does help with placement in college courses, so students who go on to state schools and community colleges can skip out of intro level courses,” said Hansen.  

High SBAC scores at CVHS also help during college admissions. “Even though scores did fall last year, the scores at our school overall are very good, it makes us look good as a community to live in, and it makes our students more competitive when they apply to colleges,” stated Hansen.

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