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Beyond the Cave

Beyond the Cave

State Testing is Almost Here: What are the Details?

BTC inquired about state testing this year and what is in store for students
The CAASPP testing occurs every year to assess students progress over their years of schooling.
The CAASPP testing occurs every year to assess students’ progress over their years of schooling.

In just a few months, juniors will begin state testing. Last year, there was a change to the location of the testing, so this year Beyond the Cave investigated what will change from last year and what will stay the same, as well as potential incentives for juniors to perform well and the results of last year’s testing. 

This year, there may be some changes to where students will complete their testing and the things the school will provide for students to do well. As Mr. Christopher, a prolific Dodgers fan, explained that testing will be in the classrooms this year. 

“We are going to do testing in classrooms as requested by teachers,” included Mr. Christopher. 

Additionally, there may be some notable incentives for students to perform well on state testing, including a grade bump and food. 

“I thought if the juniors knew they were coming to something special and yummy just for them that they’d be more apt to be on time and get to school for testing,” shared Mrs. Fray. 

“If you score proficient or advanced, basically you prove that you are knowledgeable enough about the subject matter to earn a grade bump,” shared Mrs. Ditler. 

Additionally, there can be benefits to students who are looking to go to college if they score well and release their scores. High scores have the potential to allow a student to avoid taking some basic college-level classes. 

Mrs. Fray is this year’s new state testing coordinator. In previous years, Mrs. Ditler coordinated these tests. Mrs. Fray shared how she became state testing coordinator in an interview. 

“I ran it for years when I was a principal of a high school and elementary school and I was also a teacher. I’ve seen both sides, and during the spring time, it’s swamped. It was Mrs. Ditler’s and she’s got scholarships and she has testing for AP and SATs and I said … ‘Give me that, I’ll do it, I’ll do the CAASPP testing,’” stated Mrs. Fray. 

At of the time of their interviews, the school staff is unsure of how to schedule the testing in classrooms without disrupting class. There are many potential options for how the schedule will work around this idea, all of which are up in the air. 

Natalie Harris, junior, shared her thoughts about potential incentives for state testing. 

“If they provided food, that’s probably a good idea because I know a lot of people don’t eat breakfast in the morning. I know the school already gives out free food, but if they could, you know, hand out the food,” stated Harris.

She also shared that she does not often think about state testing. 

“It’s not like I lay in bed at night and I’m like ‘Hmm, I hope state testing goes well for me.'”

— Natalie Harris

Similarly, senior Elias Durgin had little to say about his state testing experience last year. 

“It was really boring and I was glad to get it over with, but I did actually put in effort,” said Durgin. 

Over the years, both Summerville and Connections Academy have been improving their overall scores. Summerville and Connections are both above the average for the state of California in English, while Connections is above average for math and Summerville is just below average for math. 

Mrs. Ditler stated that these scores are improved from the previous year’s. The staff is hoping to see such improvement with each year of state testing. 

“You tweak it every year because you’re always trying to find something that’s going to work a little bit better,” shared Mr. Christopher.

Mr. Christopher also explained why students should care about state testing and how low scores can affect the school.

“A lot of people think the state testing doesn’t matter. That’s not true, state testing does matter. For the school the state testing affects what is called our dashboard.”

— Mr. Christopher

Consistently low scores on state testing can lead to a school being, in simple terms, taken over by a representative of the state to fix any issues they are having.

Currently, there is deliberation over how state testing will work this year, but the office staff is working on answering some of the questions and debates about all of the details.

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Leila Stuart
Leila Stuart, Copy Editor
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Peyton Skinner, Photo Editor
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