Smarter Balance

Cameron Clarvoe-Pace, Reporter

At the end of May, Venice High school administered the Smarter Balanced assessment for students in 11th grade.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is designed to test common core knowledge that students have acquired in their three years of high school in order to compare Venice students to students at other schools and in other states. The new test, completed on laptops, is adaptive, which means if students answer wrong, questions become easier; if right, they become harder.

However, several students said they felt overwhelmed taking the test immediately following AP tests. Many students didn’t think it was necessary to take the test, and according to junior Ryan Cano-Williams, it was a “waste of time.”

“The success of our school and the future of our school is currently greatly effected by test scores,” said Principal Oryla Wiedeoft. “As a family, it is each of our responsibility to support Venice High.”

Last year, The Argonaut published the results of the school’s test results and Venice had a 21 percent proficiency in English and a 9 percent proficiency in math. Principal Wiedoeft said the school would do “much better this year,” because so many more students have taken the test.

Mr. Lee McManus, one of teachers assisting with the Smarter Balanced test, said taking the test is essential for students because the test results affect how the school is judged and it’s also a way teachers are evaluated.

The rumors about students being unable to participate in senior activities next year if they don’t take the test are untrue. Opting out of the test will not affect incoming seniors’ chances of going to prom or participating in the graduation ceremony.

The principal had also stated that lunch passes were going to be issued to students who took the test.
“The test is used to see where students are generally at in their education,” said Mr. Guy Cerda, the college counselor for Venice High. “Taking the test doesn’t hurt you.”

The scores for the Smarter Balanced Assessment are going to be listed on students’ high school transcripts.