Passing Once Is Not Good Enough?

 

Senior Danny Vasquez testing in the Chaparral High School career lab

The overwhelming pressure that testing creates for students at Chaparral High School every April is powerful enough to crush even the strongest Lobo’s confidence.

I, along with other Lobos, have recently been subjected to New Mexico’s standardized testing, being forced to stare at a computer screen for hours at a time. During this time, it was quiet enough to hear clocks ticking and the sound of a pin drop, a factor that only helps to worsen an already overwhelming situation.

In the middle of an assignment in my fifth period world history class, the front office called me out of class without warning. Anxiety immediately built up, constricting my lungs and making my breaths choppy as I got up and walked haltingly to the office with a thousand thoughts racing through my mind and no idea of what was about to happen. I arrived in the office only to be redirected to the lab in F-hall, which meant that I would be testing, and this realization only made the situation more intense as I had not had time to properly prepare to take a test.

As a transfer from Alta Vista Early College High School, I had already taken and passed the PARCC tests for Algebra 2 and English 3. Upon arriving at Chaparral High School I was told that I would not have to retake the PARCC test, so I had not been studying or preparing in any way for those particular tests. Having this testing sprung on me was unfair and cruel, and I can empathize with other students who have been forced to retake the test.

I arrived in the testing room late, and it seemed as though I was walking in as a new student while everyone stared at me and the test administrators set me up to take the test. Because I started later than the other people in the room, I had a lingering fear that I would not have enough time to complete my test. I had to spend two long and tiring days completing these tests, time which could have been spent in class learning new material instead of repeating material that I had already completed and would have no positive impact on me. The only purpose of this was to show the school if I had improved in order to make the school look better in the eyes of the district and the state.

Is the torment of stress and test preparation really necessary for students that have already completed the tests required for their grade level? I truly do not think so.

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