All Miramonte juniors this year took the Common Core test instead of the STAR testing, as in previous years. The Common Core testing was given online and, though interactive, many students had technical difficulties with the system and struggled with the more challenging questions.
“It was a good idea to do this test run, to work out the kinks and challenges of the Common Core. I liked that it was more interactive and interesting, but it was really complicated, and the online features were a little hard to use,” junior Maritza Grillo said.
Half of the junior class used computers, while the other half used ipads, which were generally harder to use. “I’m sure that the graphing part on the ipads was frustrating for everyone,” Grillo said.
Miramonte students were discontent because they were so reliant on the computers, and prefered the STAR tests because no technology was involved. “I prefer to do work problems on paper. It was really weird to do the problems on the computer because it is something I’m not used to,” junior Jessica Alvarado said.
“I strongly disliked the emphasis on technology. I prefer a paper and a pencil because it is easier to hash out my thoughts and work problems,” junior Sydney Mays said.
The Common Core test has different standards than students have been taught, so they were not used to the challenge of many of the problems.
“Common Core was much more difficult because it required a lot more skills and way more thinking. That is not necessarily and bad thing, but it was an abrupt switch from the generic STAR testing that we are used to,” Mays said.
The Common Core math test also integrated real world problems that were not only more interesting, but showed students inventive ways to use math outside of the classroom.
“The downsides to the Common Core are that it’s too technological, the questions are over complicated and I think they tried too hard to be innovative. However, it accurately tests our abilities, forces us to use outside skills to answer questions, and incorporates realistic math problems that could occur outside of school,” Mays said.
Although the Common Core test was more challenging and reliant on technology, it more effectively tested the students knowledge, and offered more real world problems.