Istep testing

Madalyn Cottrell, MVC Staff Wrtier

Part one of ISTEP has come and gone for Mt. Vernon’s sophomores, as well as a few juniors and seniors. Whether or not it is necessary is a question that has lingered. Teachers and students alike can agree that the amount of testing students go through is definitely annoying.  

Standardized testing is introduced to students as early as first grade, and it becomes an essential part of a student’s life even leading up to college.

It helps teachers separate “gifted” students from those who are considered average. It also helps teachers sort who might need remediation or special attention outside of the classroom for a specific subject. While there are benefits to this in a student’s years in elementary school, the burdens high school students have to endure for ISTEP are beyond frustrating.

As early as 8th grade, I was dealing with Study Island in order to prepare for ISTEP testing. Time was taken outside of school hours  to get sessions done. Students didn’t take it seriously because it was so forced upon us.

The tasks the school assigns to sophomore is ridiculous. Sophomores are being tested on something we have not had to focus on since middle school and relearning math without a teacher is incredibly difficult.

“In all honesty, Study Island is kind of useless,” said Juan Galan, 10, “the information hasn’t helped me at all.”

I personally have struggled to get a 70% on all of the math sections we have been assigned weekly. Encouraging students to review material  if they cannot understand something would be far more effective that threatening detentions. I have stressed myself out trying to get everything finished, and have been pulled away from getting my homework assignments done effectively. This is especially an issue during SRT since newspaper is a class. SRT is our time to get work done, but being forced to focus on math puts me behind on work as well.

On the opposing side, some students agree with the idea of Study Island.

“I think Study Island takes a lot of time,” said Madison Stanley, 10, “but, it’s been helpful to relearn the information.”

Part two of ISTEP is next week, and I am definitely looking forward to getting the test finished for good, and I think that a lot of other sophomores can agree.