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Say it Louder: adjusting testing schedule would benefit students

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Opinion editor Emma Crampton shares her thoughts on various topics in her weekly column.

Opinion editor Emma Crampton shares her thoughts on various topics in her weekly column.

With AP testing officially over, STAAR tests a thing of the past for another school year, and Frisco ISD not having final exams, many students on campus feel school is pointless these last few weeks. And on the face of it, those that feel this way may be right.

But don’t blame the school or even Frisco ISD. Instead, the fault appears to lie with The College Board and the Texas Education Agency as there is a fundamental flaw in the testing schedule.

With the bulk of STAAR testing taking place in the first week of May and all AP exams occurring in the first two weeks of May, school and school districts are in a bind because students are required to be in school for 75,600 minutes with a school day defined as 420 minutes. That means student are required to be in school for 180 days.

In order to meet this requirement, school must go on even after all testing is done. In Frisco ISD, that means 13 days of school after the last AP test was administered on May 12. In order for school to end when all testing is done, the school year would have to start 13 days sooner (Aug. 3 for the 2016-17) or various days off throughout the year would have to be reduced.

Virtually no student wants to start the school year in early August, so the thing that makes the most sense would be to move all AP and STAAR tests to the last two weeks of May. That way when testing is done, the school year can be done which would save students from doing a lot of busy work these last few weeks.

For core classes, most of the year is geared towards the STAAR or AP exam. So it would make more sense if these tests were moved to the last two weeks of May. This way, those students would have more time to learn the material rather than doing it earlier and not learning much after. This would put more of a burden on testing agencies as they would have less time to get tests scored and sent out before the next school year; but since most AP exams are graded by teachers and teachers aren’t on summer break for a few more weeks, this really shouldn’t be an issue.

At this point in the school year, students are mostly doing projects in their classes. But with all the curriculum taught in most classes, these assignments are nothing more than a way to keep students busy until the school year ends.

If a change in the testing the calendar was made, students would then be given practically the entire length of the school year to learn their material. This would allow students to feel more prepared and possibly perform better on the exam and end the pointless charade of school these last weeks of May.

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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas
Say it Louder: adjusting testing schedule would benefit students