Standardized test revelations


Katie Curry

Seniors selected to take the NAEP test gained new perspective.

Katie Curry, Sports Reporter

After they pulled all of the 100 randomly chosen seniors out of class weeks ago to tell us about the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress), I would say 98 percent of us (yes me included) came out dreading the day the test would come, and thought up ways we could skip it all. Most of us had this mindset with the exception of one of my peers, John Weichel. He told people that they needed to take it as common courtesy for the school, who had invested the last 12 years in us, the least we can do is take the test and show off how great it is. I, along with the majority of people, was frustrated by the thought of another standardized test and his comments barely did anything except irritate us further.

Two weeks later, the day of the test came and I was dreading it all day, telling people I was going to skip because the last thing I wanted to do was sit through an unimportant test. There were a few reasons for this. First of all, our names wouldn’t be on these tests and we would have neither penalty nor reward for taking it. Secondly, it was to be “two hours long”. And finally, senioritis has already set in.

When they came over the loudspeaker and asked for all of the seniors who had been selected to go down to B Hall and take the test, I alongside another classmate felt almost forced to make the trip and take it. When we got there, we were placed in our designated rooms. My class held six other students at desks in a room that was prepared for 25+ students to test. There were ladies that we learned to be the representatives for NAEP and they were to be our proctors.

Our lady, for our room, immediately expressed her gratitude for our presence and explained to us that the test would consist of two 25 minute sections worth of math or English and the last two sections would be about us personally and our high school. For the first few minutes, as we waited for our fellow classmates to show up, we all got our creative juices flowing thinking of how we could still get out of the test and how it wasn’t fair we were selected to sit through this “two hour” agony.

But then everything changed.

I started to listen to the two NAEP representatives (our test administrators) and assistant principal Bruce Coachman talking outside while they waited for students. I couldn’t see them; I simply ease-dropped like a typical high school girl and began to hear the disappointed voice of our assistant principal. He was talking to the NAEP representatives telling them that less than half of the students chosen had actually shown up (15 minutes after the announcement was made over the speaker) and he didn’t see many more people coming. Frustrated, our proctor came into our room and, again, thanked us for showing up and told us she was ready to start.

When she came back in the room, myself and the six others in the classroom could feel the heavy weight of disappointment. Minutes later, Coachman came in and told us that he was thankful for us SEVEN showing up and was disappointed in our fellow classmates. When he walked out of the room, we all looked at each other and conceded the thought: “we feel awful, this test can’t be that bad.”

Roughly an hour and ten minutes later, I got a certificate granting me an hour and half worth of community service for participating in this national test, the permission to keep my pencil that obtained the simple phrase of “thank you” on it, and the third appreciation speech from the proctor who represented this national test.

I walked out of the classroom and came straight to the computer with the need to write. I get that seniors are struggling right now with “senioritis,” as we approach the final months of our lives in high school; I get it. I didn’t want to take this test the night before when I was telling my parents, the whole morning leading up to it, and even when I first got into the room.

It wasn’t until I saw these ladies here whose job it is to administer and collect the data from all different types of schools. It wasn’t until she complimented our school and reminded me how lucky I am to have an incredible and beautiful school like this that I wanted to take this test.

There are kids around the world that don’t get a chance to be educated and lack any school experiences. They don’t get to go to their first homecoming, they don’t get to feel the hype in the school when they prepare for the big game, they won’t get to make that last memory at their senior prom. And here I am, a 17-year-old girl with the privilege of parents who provide for me (provide for me in ways that they don’t have to), friends I can turn to and have fun with, teachers who push me, and the privilege to start my college education in six months.

Here I am, the 17-year-old girl that dreaded this hour and ten-minute test for weeks; the 17-year-old girl who had dreaded the test that will benefit the school that has invested in me for the past 12 years.

I get that this epiphany of mine may be greater than those who took this test and for those who didn’t show up, maybe you will understand when you get called in and have to take it at another time. But for me, I’m glad I took this test, because it reminded me not only of how privileged I am to attend this high school but also how blessed I am to live the glorious, fortunate life that I do.