NPHS Students To Take Standardized Tests


Sofia Zamora, staff writer

High school students within New Jersey are required to take standardized tests this fall of 2021 after being exempt from them for almost two years.

Fall 2021 Start Strong Assessments started on September 13 and will continue until October 22. Testing ends in Spring of 2022 with the Dynamic Learning Maps Test (DLM). These assessments are intended to evaluate the resources used by teachers and determine the needs of students. These tests are administered quickly and provide immediate results. English language arts grades 4-10, mathematics grades 4-8, Algebra 1, geometry, Algebra 2, and science grades 6, 9, & 12, are all required to take the Start Strong Assessments this Fall. 

According to Ms. Shadis, Director of School Counseling at New Providence High School, “The Start Strong Assessments are trying to figure out if there was any learning loss for students over the period of the pandemic.”

In March of 2020, Former President Donald Trump allowed states to cancel all standardized testing for students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To many students and teachers it seems that the cancellation of last year’s testing is going to negatively impact how students are going to perform this year. 

“A lot of students were at home last year and the first half of high school, so we weren’t able to learn as much as we normally would,” said Kayleigh Wilson, a junior at New Providence High School about testing performances.

The feedback from standardized testing this year is going to be vital on how schools across the country alter their lesson plans or continue throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Standardized testing helps students, parents, and teachers recognize what they need to improve, catch up on, and change for the coming year.

“I think it would be helpful for students so that they can understand, maybe where they need to catch up a little bit more. NJSLA, again, is going to be the measurement of it, so it’s sort of the back end. You have a beginning and the end of the year test to see whether or not you’ve made any growth or progress more than a certain score itself,” Ms. Shadis explains 

As for her personal opinion? 

“Well, I can’t say I love it. I understand the purpose of it and I understand why we have to do it, of course, but the actual execution from my end, it’s challenging just with the logistics and things like that,” Ms. Shadis states

Likewise, the majority of students are overwhelmed by the number of tests they must take this year while also transitioning into a normal school year after the lockdown and online zoom meetings. 

“I’m kind of overwhelmed about it just because we finally just got back in full time in person at school and now we’re going to get more homework, more time in school, and we are going to be having tests now,” said Wilson.

She, like many students, does not believe that standardized tests accurately reflects who she is as a student:  “It’s based on numbers, not really our effort or work ethic. A person can do their homework, go to see teachers and try really hard in school, but they might not perform as well on tests.”