California Department of Education delays Smarter Balance test

    The California Department of Education announced today that it will delay opening the new Smarter Balance testing period until March 25. Therefore, The Palo Alto High School administration has decided to move the testing date from March 18 and 19 to April 14, according to Dean of Students Craig Tuana.

    “We are going to use April 14, the day that essencially juniors had off,” Tuana said. “Juniors expected that time to be off, but we also feel that we really need the test.”

    The testing was originally spread between two days, and was planned to take five hours. With this new date change, the administration has decided to give the test over the course of just one day, and for only two hours.

    “We had scheduled about five hours for it, but we’re actually only going to schedule from 8:15 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., which is the same time the California Science Exam for sophomores.” Tuana said.

    Juniors will now be asked come in on a date that they previously had off, but in return will not have to come in on March 18 and 19 until the afternoon for their classes.

    “I’m going to be coming [to the new testing date], and I think that it’s better this way,” junior Michael Pappas said. “I could see how some people would be frustrated, but once they learn it’s going to be two hours out of the day and you can go home and relax after … I think once they hear that they’ll be fine with it.”

    Although some students are considering not attending the testing because the scores are not recorded, the administration hopes to use this test to gain knowledge of how well Paly students are understanding the new Common Core State Standards.

    “We would hope that more students would come because it’s a less amount of time they would have to be there,” Tuana said. “I think there’s going to be some valuable feedback that teachers will get of how we need to teach, and also for students to get some feedback as well.”