‘Very Challenging’

New Version Of State Science Tests Provide Challenge For Clymer Fifth Graders

Principal Brianne Fadale reports to the Clymer Board of Education regarding state testing.

CLYMER — A new version of the state science test that was tried on elementary grades throughout the state provided some challenges at Clymer.

During her report at the most recent Clymer Central School Board of Education meeting, principal Brianne Fadale said the new tests were happening for fifth through eighth grade and that there has been a lot of talk among teachers and principals about them.

“Those were new tests this year and I would say very challenging for the fifth grade level,” Fadale said. “We had kids that were taking up to four hours to take the test.”

The test is computer based and Fadale added that there were a lot of aspects like navigating a chart on the screen. She also said teachers raised concerns about the overall content of the tests.

“There’s been a lot of talk about that in the region and across the state,” Fadale said. “I have received several emails, I think as a response from the state saying, ‘just a reminder this was the plan’, like just trying to reiterate that we knew this was coming and it is always challenging the first year of a test.”

A new version of the state science test proved challenging for fifth graders at Clymer Central School. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

Superintendent Beth Olson said that the science test was originally given in the fourth grade and that test had not been updated in a very long time. Moving it to fifth grade means there is another year of content for the kids and the ability to do more applications.

“It’s more higher-level thinking than just memorization,” Fadale added.

Olson said that when 98% of kids pass the tests easily then change is needed, adding that it is an adjustment and adjustments will continue to be made to adapt to it.

“And they’ll make adjustments to the science test too in order to meet where the kids are,” Olson said.

Tests are meant to measure where the kids are according to state standards. Besides the science test, Fadale reported state testing has been going smoothly overall. Testing for third through eighth grade is wrapping up and regents prep is beginning. Fadale said they have received the schedule from the state and are making their own schedule with times that work for Clymer school, and reminding students of times set aside for preparation in case they need extra help. Students will also be reminded to sign up for rides if needed.


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