Far From Smart and Farther From Balanced (Con)

Image  from University of Houston

Image from University of Houston

Kevin JB Kim, Tech Editor

The new Smarter Balance testing has been recently implemented in the California school system. The purpose of the test is to assess the abilities of the high school juniors. The juniors at west had to undergo multiple practice tests before they took the real test.

Because the test was optional, many juniors at West High School choose to opt out of taking it. Those that did take it did not enjoy it at all. Most students dislike taking any tests in general. However, the Smarter Balance test brought out strong hatred and disgust in many juniors. Chris Song (11th), who took the test, recalls that the test “was not comfortable due to the weird wording and the lack of actual space to take notes.” Many other juniors shared similar feelings, stated multiple glaring flaws such as the abnormal time schedule, weird question formatting, and the lack of overall test organization.

Some juniors who have taken the test regret taking the test at all. Amanda Lourenco (11th) firmly claims, “I would not take the useless test again.” Those that choose not to participate are glad to have not experienced the horror that is Smarter Balance.

The practice tests themselves were a blunder to the students. Technical difficulties and the lack of internet connection caused the practice tests to go on for unbearable durations and contributed unnecessary stress to the students. Ariel Rubin (11th) states, “The practice tests caused more of a hindrance than assistance.”

The Smarter Balance testing is a brand new test with a completely new structure. It will take time for the test to adapt and grow into something worth utilizing. Currently, the test is not worth investing in, and is not worth the resources it needs to become a better test.