By Kyra Williams
Mira Costa juniors will take part in the Common Core Smart Balanced Assessment Consortium tests this week before first period.
The SBAC exams are built off of California’s Common Core standards. These tests assess students in grades 3-8 and 11 on their expertise of the English Language Arts and Mathematics content across the country.
“In my opinion, I thought SBAC testing was unnecessary to us personally but understandable as to why we had to participate in it,” senior Zoee Dalis said. “From what I remember from the testing last year, overall the content was similar to what we have learned at Costa.”
In previous years, Costa juniors had to miss class in order to take the SBAC exams. Beginning last year, the Costa Department Chairs decided to change the testing hours to before school. With changing the hours of testing, the district was hopeful to increase the turnout during the exams. Last year, there was indeed a greater attendance than years past.
“I think it’s much better to take the SBAC testing before school than during school,” junior Lauren Friedrich said. “This will therefore not affect the teacher’s curriculum.”
Last year, 95% of Costa Juniors participated in testing. Of that 95%, 30% surpassed California’s mathematics standards, and 44% surpassed California’s English Language Arts standards.
“SBAC testing provides the school with a measure that lets us know how well we are delivering the instructional program,” Mira Costa Principal Dr. Ben Dale said.
Students who are interested in attending The University of California schools and the California State University schools are encouraged to participate in the testing. Those schools look at SBAC testing results to see if they are prepared for college level math and English courses.
“I am planning on applying to UC schools in the future,” Friedrich said. “I feel like I really need to do well on the SBAC testing to increase my chances of getting in.”
While Costa Juniors are taking exams, other students have late start Monday to Friday. School starts for grades 9, 10 and 12 at 10:41 a.m. every morning. This extra time in the morning is beneficial to other students. It allows them to catch up on sleep, says Mira Costa sophomore Malia Yuhl.
“SBAC testing will be beneficial to me because I will have more time in the morning to study and prepare for the school day,” said Sophomore Malia Yuhl. “In general, think SBAC testing is unnecessary because it will not affect the majority of student’s chances of getting into college.”