It’s imprudent that school administrators had students take the Smart Balance test a few days before Advanced Placement tests. Students not only have to worry about losing class time that prepared them for AP testing.
The Smart Balance test was taken by juniors and was used to see how much knowledge 11th graders have accumulated. However, this test took up three periods for four days. Some students finished early, but for those who were having trouble with their iPads or worked more slowly, they had to continue working on their test.
Students could choose to sign an opt-out form if they didn’t want to take the test. According to Fred Stephens, site director of the Boys and Girls Club, about 50 or more students requested applications to opt-out from the Smart Balance test. They had to go through a procedure or get the form signed by their parents to not take the test. Some students had no idea opt-out forms existed, nor did they know what to do with it when they got them from their teachers.
When a student didn’t want to take the test, they had to go through a complex process filling out the form, as well as make copies to give to administrators so they were aware you were no longer going to take the test. I would have opted out if I knew what we were tested on.
It was going to be such a waste of time and it was also used by some people, as an excuse for students who didn’t want to go to class. Considering that students just took the test to get out of class just says that the student probably guessed on every question and didn’t even attempt to answer it correctly.
Some students didn’t even know how this test was going to benefit them and some just decided to opt-out because they didn’t want to take an annoying test that was going to be wasting their time.
“I feel that a lot of our students that are heavily invested in high school careers should have the choice to opt-in to additional testing than opt-out,” said Stephens. “A lot of the students who opted out had AP classes and were from the magnet. They mostly wanted to study more on a test that would be required… than a test that doesn’t have an affect on your grade.”
“Parents need to be fully informed to make an educated choice for their children and their future,” said Parent Center Representative, Lydia Ponce.
The opt-out forms would have been a number-one choice for most students that took the test, but not knowing what to do with the opt-out forms made it all that harder to get out of the Smart Balance test.