WKCE testing in spotlight

Everyone has had to do it: the dreaded sophomore testing. This year the sophomores are getting an incentive for high scores.

“As teachers we have talked about an incentive for sophomore students. If they were proficient or higher in all of their tested areas, then we could give them a reward to try and encourage them to do their best during the testing,” said academic adviser Tina Gilbertson.

Last year the students didn’t do as well as hoped on the testing. As a whole, Black River Falls was ranked last in the Coulee Conference.

“I feel like last year we didn’t care because all the teachers always told us how the testing wouldn’t count towards our grades, so then people are just like, whatever,” said junior Samantha Bahr. “I also think that we did so poorly because the testing is so long and boring, so by the end of it you’re just filling in answers.”

In order to try and improve the scores of the sophomore testing, the school has been focusing on teaching the students more test taking skills.

“We’ve been trying to improve the scores by teaching the students, primarily the sophomore class, more test-taking techniques. The kinds of things we’ve been teaching them are the same things you would be taught in an ACT or SAT prep course,” said Gilbertson.

Last year, the test scores in math were especially low.

“This year, our goal was to get all of the math scores up. We were going to accomplish this by practicing multiple choice questions with students, and trying to encourage the students to actually do well on the tests,” said math teacher Kathy Neville.

The teachers worked to improve the sophomore testing scores by doing many different things.

“We were really just trying to motivate them more, to give them the incentive to do well on the test. If they do well on the tests overall, they may get a free pass to Jellystone Waterpark in Warrens,” said Neville.

Neville had her own thoughts as to why the test scores were so low last year.

“If you have some kids taking the test that really don’t care and their just guessing answers, it will really drop the mean score,” said Neville.

Some people thought that teachers taught to the test, however this is not the case.

“We actually don’t teach to the test. But we really try to stick to our state standards of curriculum, and we really hope that, that’s what’s on the test, since it is a state test,” said Neville.