Thursday, June 22, 2006

Start time cuts students short

The following editorial appeared in the Northwest Herald newspaper on June 5th. When are educators going to start taking the education of our children seriously? 130 Juniors have to retake the test because testers could not follow instructions. The administrators are compensated well and have the luxury of retiring at 55 with pensions larger than most incomes of Harvard residents. The Northwest Herald was too forgiving of Ms. Mc Reynolds error. Than again the Northwest Herald all to often shows its bias towards schools and school employees. Trying hard is not enough when the future of these children's lives is in the hands of school administrators.

Start time cuts students short

[published on Mon, Jun 5, 2006]
Taking the ACT test is not fun. It is hours of hard, mentally and physically draining work.
More than 130 juniors at Harvard High school are among more than 600 statewide who will have to take the test again.
Not to improve their scores. But because their schools failed their students and the testing program.

Students took the test April 27. It was supposed to begin at 9 a.m., a new ACT Inc. rule. Tests did not begin at Harvard High School until between 9:42 a.m. and 9:52 a.m. because students were offered breakfast.
The intention was good; the result was bad. ACT did not score the tests because of the late start. High school Principal Michelle McReynolds found out May 16. Parents were not notified until the next week. It wasn't until Thursday that school officials met with parents.
It might not have solved the problem, but school administrators at least took responsibility for the error, and they apologized.
The state requires high school juniors to take the test. Many of them have studied long and hard to prepare for it because of its importance in college applications.

But Harvard High School counselors found help at two other schools, even though the registration deadline passed. About 60 Harvard juniors might luck out on June 10, the next date for testing. Woodstock High School might have 25 to 50 openings, and Rockford College might have 25. Crystal Lake South High School also might have some openings. Otherwise, students will have to wait until the next round of tests Sept. 16.
District 50 will reimburse students who retake the test. Students who needed the test simply to meet the state requirement do not have to take it again.
For others, college depends on it. Maybe some will do better the second time around. Then again, maybe not.
District 50 officials have done what they could to make things right. They made an unfortunate mistake.
But they found openings for some students to take the test June 10. We hope that it works out for all of them planning to attend college.

To view the article go to Northwest Herald.

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