With this hectic year proving to be difficult for students and teachers because of COVID-19, state testing in the 2021 school year will not be held at Camas High School but instead, postponed until the fall of 2021-2022 school year. However, there are still unknowns about how state testing will occur in the fall, like, who will take the SBA and how CHS plans on administering the test.
The Washington state agency, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) had come to the decision of canceling state testing this spring in order to allow Washington schools to focus on learning, mental health, having more time for personal lives, (etc.). These things need extra attention and focus this year since online school has proven to be challenging for all of those involved. Even as Washington schools return to in-person instruction, most of the school year has been spent online, hindering a lot of students from learning at their full potential.
When asked how they feel about OSPI’s decision, staff at CHS expressed that the decision to cancel standardized testing this year is a good one.
Associate Principal at CHS, Owen Sanford says, “It’s a great decision. Our focus right now needs to be on student well-being and getting students engaged in education.” Although state testing can be helpful for teachers and even students to understand where they are with their learning progress, it seems that this year, it is even more important that students and teachers focus their attention on other things of significance.
Alan Bohac, a math teacher at CHS says, “I was glad to hear that testing will not occur this spring… there were too many issues to figure out, in my opinion, in order to do testing well.” Again, from a teacher’s perspective, testing would not have been a beneficial thing to focus on with all of the struggles of this school year making it harder to coordinate testing.
When students at CHS were asked the same question, they felt the same way, emphasizing how this change would be beneficial for them.
CHS sophomore, Ashlee Tupper says, “I don’t really think testing kids to see how much they have learned this year is necessary because I would say a lot of kids haven’t learned a lot.” Since school has been online, it has been much harder for students to learn and grasp new concepts, making it even harder to take tests that contain the information that students have been trying to understand.
Additionally, Adriana Cortes, a Sophomore at CHS says, “It relieves a lot of stress and I feel a lot more at ease this year.” When testing becomes a hurdle that students don’t have to overcome, it greatly improves mental health and relieves stress that is hard to bear anyways, especially this year.
With the decision to cancel state testing for the 2020-2021 school year and postpone it to the fall of the 2021-2022 school year, students and staff at CHS can be relieved of some pressure during this already stressful year.