Students have noticed that there’s no EOIs in sight this 2017-2018 school year. Instead, Juniors take a science test, a free ACT, and a written assessment for US history.
The state law has changed, so Oklahoma does not use EOIs to assess students anymore. Our state now implements the Oklahoma School Testing Program (OSTP), for the first time this year, aimed at measuring student’s college and career readiness. Each district may choose to use the ACT or SAT, and while Broken Arrow and Tulsa choose the SAT, Jenks selects the ACT.
“ACT college and career benchmark only measures our students’ readiness in three areas: english, reading, and math,” says vice principal Eric Fox, “so that leaves out science and US history. That means that the state developed a science test that all juniors had to take this year.”
Following the science test, students in US history class took a history assessment last week. In fact, the group of educators who developed the test came up with multiple assessments, but teachers chose which one to give to their students. This year, students had to select 5 cartoons of their choice and answer these questions:
1.Describe the Cold War Event that increased tension between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
2.Explain the artist’s viewpoint toward this event. (What message does he convey about the event?)
“[These questions] are good practice, and they’re much more applicable,” says US History teacher Lanae VanValin. “It’s better for my classroom, and that’s why I’m using it as a grade.”
The idea is that the test isn’t only popular with teachers, but also with students.
“My hope would be is that this is something students feel comfortable with because they’ve been getting practice on it throughout the year,” says Fox. “It’s not like writing is something we just do in English.”
Once a history teacher himself, Fox emphasizes the importance of applied-skills over a multiple-choice, knowledge-based EOI.
“[The test] is assessing how students use the skills we want them to use as good citizens as informed citizens,” says Fox,” rather than play ‘got you!’ with the multiple choice.”
Today’s students have such knowledge at the press of a google search, so a test like this has deeper implications in a world of rapidly-advancing technology, as Fox points out:
“The ever-changing world gives you access to who was in the 1968 election, but to be a productive, responsible citizen, you need to learn how to read speeches, look at political ads, read the news items on the internet, and figure out what’s real and what’s not real.”
Ultimately, tests like these aim to prepare students with the tools to filter a world saturated with information, now and beyond high school.
By Charlotte Suttee