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Standardized testing plans change due to students opting out

Juniors continue classes regularly while not many participate in SBA test

Jaya Flanary, Features Editor
Originally published May 28, 2015

Distribution of the Smarter Balanced Assessment changed when almost 300 BHS juniors formally opted out of the test with a form published by Seattle Public Schools.

Because fewer students were taking the test, Sid Glass, Academic Intervention Specialist, scheduled the language arts section to be taken all day on Monday, May 18, and the math section to be taken all day on Thursday, May 21, in the library.

Although not every junior turned in an opt out form, less than 20 students took the test. More students participated in the language arts section than the math section.

While the SBA test was a requirement for this year’s sophomores, it was an option for juniors to participate. Juniors at Ballard were supposed to take the test beginning April 27 and ending May 22. Each junior would take the language arts section during their language arts class for one week and the math section during their history class for another.

According to King 5 News, Seattle Public Schools recently claimed that 95 percent of students at Garfield High School and 80 percent of students at Roosevelt High School and Ingraham High School opted out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the new Common Core Test. No students at Nathan Hale High School took the test.

The large amount of students who opted out or didn’t show up didn’t surprise Glass. “I understand that for 95 percent of our junior class this test was meaningless in the sense that they had already passed all their state requirements,” Glass said. “It’s just frustrating because we had to schedule it. I had an obligation to the district, to the state, to make a plan that should have worked and could have worked if students had decided to take the exam.”

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Standardized testing plans change due to students opting out