Category Archives: Editorials

Freshmen angered by new standardized test

Standardized testing is a big part of the American education system, but there are many holes and missing parts to the system.

A standardized test is any exam that is administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. According to parcconline.org the tests are used to determine placement in schools, states and countries. Though the tests show placement, there are flaws in the standardized testing system.

Students do not see the tests as work that shows their great achievement but as a test they need to do well on to live up to the expectations of parents, teachers and higher level education schools. Not doing well on a certain test could prevent students from going to the college of students choice.

The tests do not show what each student is capable of achieving. According to institute4learning.com, the testing process is looking for a specific format for responses and does not value the students’ creative view because  the response is not viewed by an actual human. A machine is looking for something that could not be there in the desired form.

The testing processes are not for educational purposes at all. They exist for administrative, political and financial purposes.                                   The  Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career administration make billions of dollars, and  politicians get elected based on promises for higher standardized test results. Also,school administrators get funding and avoids penalties by boosting test scores.

Students are the only ones who do not directly benefit from the testing. To them, it is a stupid test they have to take each year. The tests often place them into the class level they will be in the next school year.

The tests put unnecessary pressure and stress onto a student to do well. The standardized tests do not test what a student has learned but what they have most likely memorized weeks in advance for the test, meaning that after testing, the student will forget the material to memorize for the next upcoming test.

The new common core standard that schools nationwide adopted set higher standards in education in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, according to parcconline.org.  The new PARCC assessment the freshmen class  recently took  is  part of the new standard. The PARCC assessments, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, are assessments made by concerned educators, parents and employers who want assessments that better measure students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills and their ability to communicate clearly.

These tests are designed to prepare young children who have no idea what they want to do for future colleges and employers. The new standardized tests are made to groom a whole new generation to fit into the ever growing and competing world of jobs and real life.

The freshman class has no desire to be part of the PARCC testing process. After testing, students said the tests were hard, the questions unclear and should have been considered as a form of torture. Students were unsure on how well they did on the tests, given that much of it was did not make sense.

“The tests are really difficult and  aren’t worth the time,” freshmen Maria Petrecca said.

To the students, no one saw why the tests were necessary. To graduate, students who are freshman and under are required to have 18 points in each subject; many freshman joked that graduation rates will drop due to the difficulty of the PARCCs.

Only thirteen of the fifty states are taking the PARCCs, the others decided that another standardized test is unnecessary. When it comes to testing that can determine a future, the testing should be seen nationwide and if proven too difficult that thirty-seven states pull out, there should be a reconsideration.

Freshman Cody Kowalczyk said, “The tests were either way too simple or so complicated that there was no way we would have known the answer.”

Profanity in the classroom questioned by many

Teachers are not all that much different from us. They were once students, they were teenagers and they have been through the same challenges and obstacles as current students, so usually, they cut us some slack. Now, it is our turn to return the favor.

Recently, a harsh video went viral–a teacher was caught cussing out one of his students. He threatened and insulted the student. This video not only caused a small social media riot but caused some conversation in the teaching world about the widely “unspoken rule” about refraining from cussing in front of students. Now, students are asking themselves the same question.

Teachers throughout our building have, at one time or another, used a so-called “inappropriate” word. Some of these slips happen by accident or in a moment of weakness, and sometimes more mild cuss words have been used for comic value. Students see these slips as happenings that humanize teachers. Swearing in front of a class is something most educators try to prevent, but based on the context for which the cuss word or words is used determines it appropriateness. Each circumstance can be quite different.

Those comical teachers may be doing it to make their class giggle a little. The use of curse words in this situation is solely for the purpose of being funny. It seems acceptable when the words have been used in a light-hearted manner.

Although, a fine line does exist between the use of these cuss words for comical emphasis (or used accidentally) and these inappropriate words being used to express anger towards a student.

This line is crossed when a student’s name is used in context with the unnecessary word or used to insult a student. Teachers are supposed to be role models to their students. Just like we have to respect them and refrain from using swear words at them, they should respect us just the same–even if they are the person in charge.

Neither the Student Code of Conduct nor the Employee Handbook outline anything about teacher’s behavior in class. While the Student Code of Conduct prohibits students from using “profane, obscene or vulgar language or gestures at school, on school buses or while engaged in or present at any school sponsored event or activity,” teachers have no restrictions to the language they use. We can assume that teachers refrain from cussing due to beliefs and values based in professionalism or fear of persecution from administration.

Debate.org held a survey called “Should teachers be allowed to swear at school?” Forty percent answered yes and sixty percent answered no.

Videos, just like the one that went viral, are of teachers using excessive profanity. They all have been gracing the Internet, from more cases in Chicago, IL to Memphis, TN. It seems that the condition of the schools and the attitude of the students, conditions that greatly differ from the high school’s, pushes these teachers into these rants. A obscene rant would be less expected and therefore more provocative from a teacher from the high school.

In 2012, people in the state of Arizona tried to pass a bill which would prohibit teachers, including college professors, from swearing in and outside of the classroom. This bill would have prevented students from learning certain literature because of vulgar language, such as “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, a book read by most high schoolers that many people note for its relative “excessive use of racial slurs.”

It seems as though the use of cuss words depends on the type of teacher and in the situation the words are used. For now, swear words do not seem to be a problem in our school.

Within this modern generation, swear words have increased in use by people ranging from children to adults. Profanity is a rising epidemic that fills classrooms with a new influence, but whether or not teachers use it is completely up to them.

Jade’s February favorites revealed

That’s right, it is February: it is the 28 days of the year consisting of hot wings, roses and candy hearts.

This month holds many trademark events and desserts. From the delicious candy to the feelings brought from the words “Super Bowl” and “Valentine’s Day,” February definitely reminds students of some of their favorite things.

Feb. 1 was a memorable day for all New England Patriot fans. Winning by only four points, Super Bowl parties all around were either crushed by the slight loss or enthusiastic from the victory.

The Super Bowl is one of those events that brings friends and families together with the fire of debate on who the best team is, excitement for victory and a little dash of comedy with each new commercial.

My favorite commercial this year was for Mountain Dew Kickstart. The dancing dog and couch made for a very weird yet comical commercial.

Although the entertainment on Super Bowl day is what excited most people, I get pumped for the food. With the selection of mini hot dogs, chili and chip dip, one could never go wrong.

Thirteen days later is yet again another favorite day in February.

This day is surely a favorite for all of those elementary students who get to buy those cute, little cards and make their own decorated tissue box. Back in the day, that Valentine’s day party in class was one of the best days of the year because any day that you could receive chocolate in the second grade, was a great day.

Now-a-days, we may want fancier sweets from Malley’s or Edible Arrangements.

Malley’s is a favorite of mine, definitely around this time of the year. With a new location in Stow, you could buy your loved one a heart shaped box of chocolate or their famous chocolate strawberries without having to go very far. Their chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries are my absolute favorite item in the store. Just down the road from the high school, 3027 Graham Road, the new Malley’s is sure to have something for everyone on Valentine’s day or any other special occasion.

Just a few miles further into Stow is yet another marvelous place to shop for your valentine.

Edible Arrangements has quite a different selection for your partner. They offer baskets of all different kinds of fruit, which may seem boring; however, they take it a step further than just an ordinary basket of fruit.

Edible Arrangements takes the pineapple, strawberry, grape and cantaloupe combination and turns them into a beautiful creation. Each basket resembles a bouquet of flowers, with the fruit pieces shaped like individual flowers. They are stunning to look at and are even better to eat. Your valentine would definitely not turn down a basket of glorious, high quality arranged fruit. Edible Arrangement is located at 4326 Kent Rd, in the plaza by 5 Below.

On the more traditional side of Valentine’s day are candy hearts. Some have a burning hate towards these little candies; however, some people, like me, love them. The tiny pastel colored hard candies with the cute sayings on them is one of my favorite parts of February. My favorite color of the selection is orange. Usually only being available within this month, candy hearts are like gold. Those who love the little hearts must stock up now, because before we know it, it will be March and one step closer to spring time.

Parking worsens as winter continues

One major privilege in the high school is being able to drive to school.

Parking passes allow students the privilege of driving themselves to school.

They are available for juniors and seniors with a valid driver’s license. The passes cost $50 and require a form to be filled out before the beginning of the school year. The passes are given on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis in order to prevent overflow parking in the lots. Students are issued a gold pass that they can attach to their rear view mirror and are required to be easily visible to somebody walking past.

There are requirements for parking at the school. The first requirement is tat the vehicle must have a valid parking pass.
At the beginning of the school year, most people follow this rule. The administration is diligent in checking for offenders, and after a few warnings, those people tend to fix the problem; however, in the recent winter months, the number of people parking in the school parking lot without a clearly visible parking pass has increased dramatically. Walking from the back of the parking lot, down even just a single row, students can see many cars that have no pass hanging, a fact that frustrates many students.

Another requirement for having a parking pass is the understanding that certain spots are unavailable for students to park. These spots include any spots specifically marked for teachers, such as “Traveling teachers,” “Traveling Music Teachers,” and “Reserved” spots. Other spots include every spot in front of the first light post in the first lot of the school. These spots are reserved for teachers and staff only and are marked with a different color.

An increase in the number of students that disregard this rule is obvious in the cold winter months. Many students do not want to walk from the back of the parking lot to the school in the rain, wind or snow; however, students that take up these spots cause teach- ers to park further back in student spots, which causes the students parking in the correct spots to park in the very back lot, the gravel lot or even the tennis courts, which also frustrates the many students who are following the guidelines put in place when getting a parking pass.

“I think it’s disrespectful when students try to park in the teacher’s spots,” senior Amanda Kenepp said.

In the recent months with the cold weath- er hitting harder, students have taken to even parking in spots that are not actual parking spots. They have parked at the end of the first parking lot where people drive through, blocking that portion of the drive. Not only is this unfair to other students, safety is also a concern, as these cars are parked in a place where people are
supposed to be able to drive through and block a potential way to exit the parking lot quicker.

While the administration does their best to prevent these offenses from happening, it is impossible to keep every student within the rules without somebody checking every car in the parking lots the school does not have the staff or funds for this kind of demand. Students believe that it would be better if there was more organization in the parking lot.

“It shouldn’t be a free-for-all,” senior Julia Ryan said.

Other students have thought of ideas that could give a little more organization to the parking. One of these ideas includes having reserved spots. When students get a parking pass, they are given a specific spot to park. This would help every student, as no one would have to move their car in the middle of the day and interrupt their education. It would also help cut down on people parking without a pass because every space would have an assigned student.

This design would require the parking lot to have work done. Each spot would have to be numbered in order for students to know where to park. Suggestions came that other schools have a policy similar to this and that the students could paint their spot with a number or a name when they acquire their pass.