For students in grades 3-8 and high school, March marked the beginning of the Smarter Balanced testing window. Spring 2015 marked the first year Smarter Balanced assessments were administered, and student participation was mixed: For elementary and middle schools, participation rates were at 95 percent across grades 3-8, but high school participation rates were low, as more than 50 percent of 11th graders refused to take the math and English language arts exams.
In an effort to communicate with students about the importance of taking these assessments, the Ready Washington coalition launched a student voices project called ‘Opt In for Student Success.’ The project encourages students to use their voice to talk about the importance of a high-quality education, the value of assessments and being prepared for college, work and life.
Between now and April 15, Ready Washington is accepting video submissions from high school students around the state. From those submissions, 10 winners will be chosen to each receive a $500 scholarship, and a $100 Visa gift card will be awarded to their favorite educator. Full details are available by clicking here. If you know of any high school students who believe in the value of standards and assessments, encourage them to submit a short video for a chance to win $500.
The video submissions are already rolling in. Here are a couple examples of high school students who are ‘Opting In for a Better Education’: