Face Off: ISTEP is slightly a waste of time

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Face Off: ISTEP is slightly a waste of time

Grace Kowalevsky, Reporter

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As an upperclassman, I believe that ISTEP is only a slight waste of time due to the fact that testing time becomes 2 hour delays for older students. I will admit, I hated taking ISTEP as a sophomore, I thought it took too long, I was mad that everyone else got to sleep in, and I hated just having to stare at the wall until time was up if I finished early. However, the ISTEP experience is just another rite of passage that every high school student must endure. 

The sole reason that I think ISTEP is not a total waste of resources is because the sophomore’s yearly thankless sacrifice allows for everyone else to catch up on the sleep that high schoolers so desperately need. On some days of the ISTEP testing schedule, students can get almost 3 more hours of sleep, which can make a big difference in the lives of students with a Zero Period like myself. I cannot describe the pure joy of turning off the 5:50 AM alarm in favor of an 8:10 AM alarm, especially when Cody is dead set on having a big lift day. 

As someone who depends on a mid-afternoon nap to get through the day, three hours of extra sleep can make or break my productivity for the rest of the week. I am aware that is kind of pathetic, but true regardless. I understand that there is a certain need to track every individual student’s progress and compare it to the state average, but ISTEP is not an equal opportunity venture. 

Some of Indiana’s best and brightest student struggle in the test taking environment despite their aptitude for learning in the classroom. Therefore, some would consider it a waste of time due to its inability to demonstrate how much a student actually knows. Additionally, students are required to take the SAT and ACT to apply to colleges anyway, which makes ISTEP almost redundant in terms of documenting students’ process if that is, in fact, the ultimate goal. Though it may seem like ISTEP is necessary, Indiana ranks 35th in education in the United States according to U.S. News, so if what they are doing is evaluating our education system, are they actually utilizing any of the results they are collecting? 

Despite this, it is essential to the integrity of Indiana schools that their student’s progress be tracked on a yearly basis to ensure that they are meeting academic state standards…and do not forget the extra sleep. 

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