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Students and parents united in anti-testing stand

Castle View seniors view non-participation as a form of protest

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Castle View High School seniors Rachel Decker and Andrea Alfano joined hundreds of classmates in not attending school the mornings of Nov. 5 and 6 for the state-mandated Colorado Measures of Academic Standards assessments.

“We're all in a way protesting,” Decker said. “That's how we see it.”

“There's a huge amount of us that are not taking it,” added Alfano. “Most of the seniors got their parents to sign them out of it. It's taking us out of our classes to do something that's really not helpful to us. We won't get our results until we're already in college, so there's really not any benefit to it.”

Alfano's and Decker's parents agreed with the students' decision not to participate in the six hours of assessments.

“We think seniors have enough on their plate with jobs, ACT tests, family life, college applications,” Kollette Decker said. “They don't need any more testing. It's just getting out of hand.”

“The schools for years had standardized testing, but it always ended in sophomore year, so there was none junior and senior year,” Laura Alfano said. “It's hard enough to get them invested in their senior year in the first place. This is not against the principal or the school. It's just a waste of time.”

Aside from concerns about the tests' relevancy for seniors, Laura Alfano said the time reserved for the lengthy, online assessments takes away from class time.

“Right now, her toughest class is AP Literature,” she said. “With this testing, she will miss two days of it.”

That includes instruction to prepare for the AP Literature exam.

“A test she will take eventually that will matter and will earn her college credit,” Laura Alfano said.

Rachel Decker and her mom plan to write a letter about their testing concerns to state legislators.

“I don't have a whole lot of faith in the Legislature but we're going to try,” Kollette said.

Andrea Alfano said she understands lack of student participation could impact the school's rating.

“If I were to take the test, I probably wouldn't do well because it's on things I don't take and haven't been taught,” she said. “I'm not saying we don't care about the school because we're graduating. But the school's rating shouldn't really be determined by seniors who are leaving that year.”

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