Standardized testing moves away from Scantron forms

February 12, 2014 — by Michelle Leung and Carolyn Sun

Starting this year, schools all over California will be making the transition to computerized testing systems. 

The years of pencil-and-paper Scantron STAR tests are gone forever. Starting this year, schools all over California will be making the transition to computerized testing systems. 

During this transition year, freshmen are exempt from all standardized tests. Sophomores will take the Life Science and California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), as usual, while juniors will take the new optional EAP (Early Assessment Program) computerized tests. The state will also continue test special education students. 

According to assistant principal Brian Safine, juniors will still take the EAP portion of the former STAR (CST) tests during the week of April 21 in order to help the school try the computerized test.

Although the specifics about dates and times have not been determined, the computerized tests will take place in the library and research center. 

“We are equipped to handle close to 100 students at one time,” Safine said. “There are some logistics to work out in terms of schedule, but we feel good about our preparation.”

With the new changes, Saratoga effectively gains two more school days, meaning that seniors have to attend two extra days of school.

“I like the fact that we will have two more days of classroom time for teachers to focus on their curriculum rather than spending the entirety of the two days doing something that the state tells us to do,” Safine said. “I’m intrigued by the notion of computerized testing based on Common Core standards.”

The tests are being implemented in schools as part of the Common Core curriculum being adopted nationally. 

“We recognize that this year is just a pilot, which means that the scores will not be overly criticized or scrutinized,” Safine said. “[The state] just wants to see any technical challenges with these interfaces.”

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