RAISE gone when needed most

The fourth quarter is the time for students to give one last, big push to improve grades. Whether that is studying for finals or working on projects, the kids at our school need as much time as they can get fourth quarter to work on their grades. At this time in high school when time to study or do extra work is more important than ever, the SOL schedule has taken Raise away.

Raise has been a set part of the high school schedule for the last three years, and every year during the SOL testing schedule it gets dumped by the wayside. This means that the amount of time students have in school to do homework or study is decreased. These aspects of Raise are what has made it so valuable over the last few years, and what makes it valuable every day of the year.

When did the need for a standardized test outweigh the need for a student’s academic progress? That is exactly the message the students at our school are receiving when we lose time for studying and doing homework to a standardized test. Standardized testing only adds another layer of stress to a student’s life, even though most SOLs would be described as “child’s play” by a large majority of the students at our school.

Students are not the only ones who need Raise, however. Teachers also use Raise to communicate with students about projects and important tests. This time to communicate not only aides the students, but allows the teachers more time to help.

Eliminating the SOLs altogether is impossible, but the damage they do to students lives can be limited. The administration of not only this school, but of Fairfax County as a whole needs to figure out a way so students will still have access to all the resources they need to improve themselves academically, and still fit SOLs in the mix.

If finding a way to increase student’s time for their school work means maybe cutting down the amount of standardized tests, those in power need to make this change, and they need to make it now.