No More Benchmark Testing

Olivia Johnson, Art and Graphics

Benchmark tests, the assessments teachers gave periodically last year, are now nearly a thing of the past. Students may no longer be required to take Benchmark testing this year.
Christine Balentine, lead counsel for CUEA in negotiations with CUSD said of the tests, “We negotiated an agreement that said that benchmark testing would be only offered in a very limited fashion. Teachers will only do it if they volunteer.”
“I never really knew what Benchmark tests were for, but I’m glad we don’t have to do them anymore,” said Sierra Lewis, a freshman this year.
Benchmark testing was used to get an idea on how students were learning, and what skills needed to be reviewed before STAR testing as well as keeping on eye on how teachers were teaching.
The reason we are not being tested anymore is due to a possible shorter school year and the quality of the tests. This was negotiated between CUEA (Capistrano Unified Education Association) and the District.
Mrs. Stress, who has been teaching for 15 years added,”The theory and idea behind Benchmark testing is valid, but the test themselves had problems.”
Some of these problems include, shortage in time for choosing questions, and the fact that the money came from grants to sponsor the tests.
Although a contract agreement between CUEA and CUSD called for the suspension of benchmark testing, district officials are still giving the teachers a choice to give voluntary benchmark if desired by the teacher.