Admin hopes high for 2011 HSPA test

By CONNOR McAULEY

Staff Writer

Throughout the past couple of weeks student conversation revolved around the High School Proficiency Assessment test, with a certain emphasis on the phrase “100 percent advanced proficient,” encouraged by Principal James Gleason.

“It’s a matter of shooting for a goal. Perfection was not the goal, it was advanced proficient or scoring an A,” Gleason said.

Gleason wanted the students to know of his expectations for them on the HSPAs: 100 percent advanced proficient in both language arts and mathematics.

He relies on his staff to work with the students and he ensures that the criteria being covered in the classrooms are HSPA related, he said.

“We feel that in our department we have an advanced program that would allow students to get very high scores on the HSPA’s,” said math teacher Debbie Maher.

“Unlike some schools, we don’t do preparation for the test,” she said.

Gleason asked a couple of juniors how they felt they had done.

He feels that it’s hard to gauge how well they did because they have never taken the test before.

The feedback was similar to that of previous years.

“It’s a hard goal, but at the same time I think it’s possible,” said junior Gabby Maurer of Avon.

“But, if people in average districts have to take them, I think we can surpass them,” she said.

Some students didn’t feel much pressure.

This is because they felt that 100 percent was just a number and it’s about doing your personal best, according to junior Aislinn Brennan of Belmar.

“I don’t think that we really achieved that goal because you guys [present seniors] already got to the top, and we could only go down,” said junior Nick Quiles of Middletown.

“I took it seriously. I don’t think state testing is a joke because it affects our school,” he added.

Many of the students were serious about doing well on the test.

The general consensus afterwards was that it wasn’t difficult.

“I did somewhat [take it seriously]. I mean on the writing I took it seriously because [English teacher Robert] Sherman threatened to read them, and I answered all the questions seriously. But, it was hard to take it seriously when the test was such a joke,” said junior Louis Sangiorgio of Colts Neck.

“I thought it was pretty easy, probably the easiest standardized test I’ve ever taken,” he said.

 

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