Juniors Test the Common Core


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Story by Daniel Ballard, Staff Writer

While the seniors and freshman slept in and the sophomores were mid-way through their CAHSEE tests March 18, 102 juniors spent their enhanced late start voluntarily taking the Common Core math assessment.

But why forgo such a loss for a simple non-mandatory exam? According to Assistant Principal Douglas Kamon, the San Diego CountyOffice of Education had requested all schools within the county administer the test, stating that the results from SDA and all the others involved would help craft the actual Common Core math examination for next year’s students.

In addition, the results of this test will be used to analyze which aspects of math the students are currently lacking, allowing teachers across the county to tailor their lesson plans to the needs of their students and improve the overall learning of the county, Kamon said.

Yet for a large portion of the juniors at SDA, this reasoning was not enough to support volunteering their time. For some students, their time was better spent studying in the library, preparing for their current classes. Others said they felt they deserved a few hours to sleep in or simply couldn’t be bothered.

The few students who did choose to take the assessment, however, did share the common opinion that the examination was very unlike any of the multiple choice math questions of tests such as the STAR test, the SAT, or the CAHSEE test. Junior Romey Beigel said, “It required a lot more problem solving and thinking compared to the normal ‘guess and check’ multiple choice questions.”

All in all, the results of the assessment are to be examined and used to improve and adapt the current mathematics standard for education.  Beigel said the assessment was “a better representation of how students solve problems than an average multiple choice exam.”