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PARCC Testing Returns

MATTHEW ZANK | STAFF WRITER

La Cueva students will begin taking the PARCC the week after next for English and math over the course of two weeks. Each grade will have a day for the English exam and a day for math testing. Seniors do not have to take this test, but for the rest of the student body, one of the most dreaded events are coming.

Met with tremendous controversy since its adoption by APS during the 2014-2015 school year, the PARCC still continues to be widely disapproved by many students and teachers.

The main reason for this anger towards the test is the amount of time it takes, which takes time away from more important classroom instruction. Over the three years students have been taking the PARCC, the testing window has shrunk from two months down to two weeks.

Another reason for the anger towards the PARCC is the fact that every student takes the same test although many students learn and test differently. This had lead to the test being very difficult for some, and also very easy for others.

Many have also noted that we spend a huge amount of money on standardized testing, and that the money used could be much better spent elsewhere as APS faces a huge budget crisis currently.

The final reason for this is that many feel that the test does really not count for anything, nor does it really benefit the student in the slightest way, which is why many see it as a distraction and a time waster.

Although the PARCC is a very contentious test, almost all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will take the test in the weeks to come. Some helpful tips to ensure the passing of the test are to make sure that you get a good night of sleep before you take the test, eat a good breakfast, make sure that you review your concepts that may be on the test, drink lots of water, and come prepared.

Through these steps you can guarantee your success and ability to pass our least favorite test, the PARCC.

Save my sleep instead of daylight

Shanelle Henry | Journalism

Daylight Savings Time (DST) has everyone drinking two cups of coffee in the morning because we need that extra energy to get through the day. Daylight Savings has been meant for people to do more activities during the day, requiring less fossil fuel energy to light nighttime activity.  But, like everyone else, I love to sleep. How can we now that one hour slips away from us?  One bright idea:  you could go to bed one hour before your usual bedtime. Then again we’d rather finish that last assignment that’s due tomorrow or watch that last episode of ‘Friends’ on Netflix.

We’re humans and we want to sleep, although we lack the ability to reason with what we can do to consume an extra hour of rest. For some, the definition of relaxation is to flop on a couch and watch TV or lay down and play on our phones, but what you could do is let your body be comfortable, not sluggish. Instead of screaming in the morning at the vehicle in front of you that seems to move slow as a snail, leave your house 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. During the first three days according to the article “Your Health and Daylight Savings Time,” the number of car accidents increase due to lack of sleep and people who are in a hurry to get to their morning destination.

Daylight Savings Time shows how lazy we can be, but also how scary the world can be. Depression symptoms increase about 11% each time Daylight Savings Time comes around. People with mental health issues realize this and become increasingly more depressed and more sluggish.

You don’t have to be lazy or depressed to hate Daylight Savings.  And you don’t have to be a total Type-A personality to realize any benefit from another hour of daylight. Take our poll and show your feelings about DST.

AP classes may, or may not, be for everyone

Nick Ortega | Journalism

The best reason to take an AP class? You’re highly interested! Image courtesy of College Board.

Being a freshman, almost a sophomore, I was asked to choose my electives, and, to my surprise, my core classes for next year. Of course I have to take classes like Chemistry, but I was now given a choice if I wanted to be in an advanced placement (AP) class. Obviously this had benefits in the long run for getting into college and such, so it was tempting to take as many as I could. Still, I looked further into this and here is what I have found.

According to Sonali Kohali from The LA Times, an AP class is 30% more work than any other class simply because they explore the topic more deeply and the homework is more rigorous. It’s all college level work that can even earn college credits. Not only this, but it affects your GPA greater as well. Earning a B in an AP class can still catch you a 4.0.

Still, all these benefits won’t matter if you do horribly in the class, and, as you may have guessed, AP classes are hard. With multiple AP classes, your regular core classes, and with after school activities you get a lot of stress. While it’s recommended to take AP classes to get into colleges, sometimes not taking one is ideal. A good grade in a significantly easier class may be better than a below average grade in an AP class.

So, if you aren’t aiming for an Ivy League college, Christopher Taibbi’s psychology report suggests just taking what you’re interested in.  While it may seem obvious, simply taking what classes you’re truly interested in can lead to greater success. If you really like the subject, you want to challenge yourself. And while some students thrive off this more than others, it’s important to do these things in high school to develop further as people and as students.