Recently released WY-TOPP test scores show a drastic plummet for the 2018-19 school, with only 9% of the sophomores advanced and nearly half of the class scoring below basic in both English and Math.
WY-TOPP is used throughout the whole state to test student proficiency and progress. Grades K-10 are required to be tested by the state. Students at the high school are separated by last name and into counselor-monitored classrooms for the first or second half of the day. Once they finish the test, they pack up their belongings and go to class.
Scores for the WY-TOPP test have been decreasing since the state implemented this required test in the spring of 2018, terminating the previously used PAWS and MAP tests. Sophomore Cecilia Bell said “If you get a low score on the map test you get embarrassed, but if you get a low score on the WY-TOPP, you don’t really know and no one really cares what your score is.”
Although these scores are not the best, Sophomore Kinley Bollinger is one student who cares about her overall performance on the test.
“WY-TOPP testing stretches our abilities and makes us try hard,” she said.
But there are students who have different opinions. “I think it’s not as good as MAP testing because there’s no competition,” Bell said. With MAP testing students would get their scores automatically upon finishing, but with WY-TOPP students are left in the dark until spring progress reports.
Would students begin to care more if the test were to count against them?
“I’d definitely try harder on it,” Sophomore Matthew Egger said.
“Maybe I’d actually study. I might even fail most of my classes because I don’t try on the WY-TOPP,” Sophomore Abby Klessens said.
WY-TOPP testing is administered three times a year, once in the fall, winter and spring. Most of the time, students are given just a few days notice.
“I feel like it’s a hard test for no reason,” Bell said. During one testing session, a student is asked to take a minimum of two tests with questions numbering in the high 40s and 50s.
“I think we test our students too much,” Math teacher Shawn Trotter said. “I would like to see us do more problem solving, project-based, critical thinking skills. These are the skills that will prepare students more for the future.”