April is also the season of taking standardized tests for all high school students in the state of Michigan. This year also marks the first year that the newly revised SAT will be taken mandatorily for the juniors. The reason for the switch was because of a decision announced by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to transition using the Scholastic Assessment Test, better known as the SAT, as part of the Michigan Merit Examination. By transitioning to the SAT instead of the previous standardized test, the American College Testing, or the ACT, the MDE reported in their website that the contract offered to the College Board, which administers the SAT, was worth $17.1 million in contrast to the ACT bid which was worth $15 million more. By choosing the SAT over the ACT, the state of Michigan is able to save a lot more money and will be able to invest the money saved elsewhere.
During the prior week of testing, students that are not hugely affected by them have found themselves in a position of where the class might be transformed into a SAT prep class in order to help the juniors specifically.
“I think that its alright for the classes to be transitioned in order to help the juniors and the school overall,” freshman Stephen Hu said. “It also gives the rest of us to utilize this time in order to get caught up with any homework that might not be done or to just give us a chance to take a break from the normal routine.”
For teachers, this helpful transition might put stress in their normal routine as their normal curriculum plans would have to be placed on hold in order to prep out the juniors in order to be ready to take the test. Math teacher Eric Mohr, a mathematics teacher here at DHS, has expressed the fact that although this period might push back the school curriculum, it is still vital to prepare the juniors to do their best which ultimately affects the whole school in ways that they may have not known.
With the transition from the ACT to the SAT being already a huge factor for the school, balancing how much preparation is put into a class for the SAT offers another challenge that teachers have to face in regards of delaying their original curriculum plans. Although the amount of stress that has been bestowed upon the juniors and the teachers in regards of preparation, over time it will be a lot easier for the teachers and the students to be able to cope with preparation for the big April Test. Just as the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu has quoted, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”, and this year will be the first but many SAT tests to come.
By: Abe Yum