Eye of the Tiger
Motivation to perform well on STAR test should not be initiated by grade inflationWednesday, May 02, 2012 By Keaton Landenberger
Policy changes at Roseville High School may be continued next year regarding STAR Tests, allowing students a one third grade bump if they score proficient or higher in the class that the section coordinates with. This would also apply to AP classes if the student passes the AP test in addition to scoring proficient on the STAR Test. There are a multitude of reasons why I believe that RHS should not implement this type of policy, even though Granite Bay has already started this program at their schools. Looking a bit closer at the change itself it only provides a one-third grade bump, targeting the students with a + in their grade, which is another attempt to get students with lower grades, D plus and C plus students, giving them higher grades that students don’t deserve just because of a test not known for its difficulty, but for its boringness and its long hours of testing. Also, the STAR test really does not necessarily correlate with what we learn in the classroom. A multitude of things I “learned” in CP English 11 were not even on the test, so why are we giving people higher grades for something completely irrelevant. This new grade bump provides motivation for students, but for the wrong reasons. It allows them to think that if they score well on a simplistic test, they can slack off or not do as much. This type of motivation will split up students even more than it did before, giving them less intrinsic motivation than before. Thinking about who they are trying to target and who they are going to get because of this new policy are two different things. Students that already have the motivation to work well, use their resources and want to succeed, only now with a one-third higher grade than before. Students who don’t care to begin with will not receive any benefit or gain any advantage from this. They will test the same as before, drawing a picture with bubbles or guessing. So the major flaw with this addition is the targeted group will never be reached, stopping the school from reaching their goals. Why are we doing a one-third grade bump for helping a student accomplish something they should want to do well on in the first place? This allows administration to not take full responsibility for why students have low grades, such as our lack of an intervention schedule, teacher performance and not the right approaches in the classroom. Overall in theory, it is a good idea to help us get off PI, but it won’t have the desired effect that the school needs, leading me to ask this last question - why do we need it then?