Tag Archives: Testing

The Italian View

Exchange students are surprised by America’s reliance on standardized testing

By Auburn Larson, Current Staff

Lisa Bertani is used to being cross-examined by teachers at school, but she’s finding this semester much easier. Bertani, you see, is a foreign exchange student from Carpi, Italy.

Right now Bertani attends West Bend East High School, and while in Wisconsin she met Elettra Fiandri, another Italian exchange student who resides in Modena, Italy but currently attends Slinger High School.

Both Bertani and Fiandri have been struck by the drastic differences between American schools and their schools back home, especially when it comes to assessments. Continue reading

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Galileo Comes to West Bend

Justus_Sustermans_-_Portrait_of_Galileo_Galilei,_1636

By Hannah Bensen, Current Staff

Next week brings a time of great stress for students: exam week. And this year, exams are going to look very different. Continue reading

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District Adopts New Testing System

Galileo replaces Gains and EOCA assessments

By Lauren Sorensen, Editor in Chief

This year students found themselves on a computer as they began the process of assessing their skills at the beginning of a new school year.

The new testing format is called Galileo, and it is done on a computer. At the high schools, Galileo replaced last year’s Gains and End-of-Course Assessment (EOCA) tests to measure pre, mid, and post skill level. Galileo is also being used at the elementary and middle schools. Continue reading

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AP Week Can Be a Headache, Literally

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By Beth Williams, Current Staff

Adam Gergetz knows how illness often comes at the worst time.

The East junior became extremely sick during “AP Week,” the two-week period in May when all Advanced Placement exams are offered to students.  The tests are high stakes and not easily rescheduled. Continue reading

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Families Exercise Right to Opt Out

Local parents explain their decision to pull their children from testing

By Lauren Sorensen, Current Staff

Reflecting a national trend of parents opting students out of standardized testing, some West Bend parents followed suit during the recent Badger and Aspire tests given in the West Bend School District. Continue reading

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Greymont Explains What WBHS Hopes to “Gain” from Standardized Tests

Office Beat Logo - ConleyFor many students, high school seems like continuous standardized testing.  But students have actually been assessed this way since elementary school.

“High school, for the first time, is really experiencing what elementary school has been doing for the past 20 years,” said Bill Greymont, WBHS principal.

The next set of Gains tests will be taken the week of April 6-10. Different subjects will be tested each day. Sophomores will take the Aspire test April 28-29; freshmen will take it April 30 and May 1.

Greymont addressed why students are taking multiple standardized tests each year in an early March interview with The Current. He explained the purpose of these tests so students can understand why they need to be taken, from the administration’s perspective. Continue reading

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Seeking Re-election, Pheng Says Testing Should Be Minimized

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

Vinney Pheng is running for re-election for his seat on the school board. The election among three candidates for the two open seats will be held April 7.

Pheng was raised in California’s Bay Area and attended San Francisco State University for his bachelor’s degree in political science. After spending more than 10 years in the military, Pheng moved his family to Wisconsin for a job opportunity.  He currently works for a company in Cedarburg in the fulfillment department. Continue reading

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Challenger Schmiege Wants to Replace Common Core with Local Standards

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

Monte Schmiege is one of three candidates running for two seats in the April 7 school board election.

Schmiege has lived in West Bend for “quite a number of years” and has many ties across the city.  He originally attended Dr. Martin Luther College and received his bachelor’s degree in education, but after a few years of teaching became more interested in working with computers. He has been working for the West Bend Company and Regal Ware for 40 years, most of which has been spent in the IT department. He has also recently worked with Habitat for Humanity.

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Sizer Stresses Experience and Diverse Background in Re-election Bid

SchoolBoardElection_LogoBy Alyssa Birkeland, Current Staff

The election for two school board seats is on April 7, and Therese Sizer is in the race. Sizer has been on the board for three years and is up for re-election.

Sizer said she was approached to run three years ago because of her education, legal, and business background. She admires the board for its ability to discuss issues from all angles, find solutions, and not just argue each set point of view. Sizer said she is ready to continue tackling those matters, given her familiarity with the complexity of the board’s duties. Continue reading

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Full Transcripts: Board Candidates on Testing

What is your stance on the amount of standardized testing and is there any action you would take on that?

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Vinney Pheng

That’s something that always comes up and I’m pleased to say that the administration here from the superintendent on down, recognizes that there may be too much testing. And maybe we should consolidate the testing. I’m in full support of that initiative. Having said that, again, even though we do have some local control, there’s a lot of state requirements. And that kind of… it doesn’t help, let’s put it that way. But as a general policy, as a general philosophy, I believe some of these tests can and should be consolidated. And one of the things we hear as board members, and again it’s a totally valid concern, I totally understand it and in a lot of ways agree with it, is if you have too many tests, teachers end up teaching the test versus focusing on learning. Tests are a metric to measure learning, but it’s not learning. And so that’s a long way to say the board as a body has encouraged and directed administration to try to reduce that amount of testing. Continue reading

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Searching for a Data Czar

District plans to hire a Director of Assessment and Accountability

By Lauren Sorensen, Current Staff

The West Bend School District is currently looking for a new individual to oversee data collected to measure the progress of students and various district departments. Continue reading

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Testing Culture Discussed at Local Forum

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By Lauren Sorensen, Current Staff

The national conversation about standardized testing came to West Bend earlier this month. Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Take the Gains Tests Seriously

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The Gains tests are a series of ACT-style assessments given in every class at WBHS. According to the district, these tests are used by teachers to adapt instruction to address gaps in student learning.

I don’t take the Gains Test seriously for a number of reasons. There are a multitude of standardized assessments that students are required to endure, semester after semester, on some occasions taking the same one for multiple classes. These tests, designed to measure academic growth of the student body, are not only irritating but a blatant waste of perfectly good time, filling class periods that could (and should) be spent doing anything of a more productive nature. One could argue that taking one or two days out of an entire semester to take a test for the good of the school does little or no harm, and that’s perfectly valid. The time spent isn’t excessive, and the tests are little more of a nuisance to most. What I’m most concerned with, however, is not the actual tests but what they stand for. Continue reading

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School Newspaper Should Ask Questions

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

If it doesn’t go against school code, I would like to make a plea for more questions. Particularly those in regards to all of the testing given in our high school as well as throughout our entire district. Students deserve to know why they are being required to do all of this testing, who initiated it, and why neither the students nor teachers have a say in any of it. I strongly encourage topics like these to be published in the West Bend Current as it’s the media’s gift to bridge the informative gap between the administration and the student body. Continue reading

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No Ripple Effect

StudentTesting

Germantown’s rejection of Common Core hasn’t weakened West Bend’s commitment to the controversial standards

By Lauren Sorensen, Current Staff

As a nearby school board makes waves for abandoning the Common Core standards, West Bend’s top academic administrator says those conversations will not affect the West Bend School District. Continue reading

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