Oklahoma Students Prepare For Standardized Reading Test

Wednesday, April 9th 2014, 7:13 pm
By: News 9

The hallways of Parkland Elementary in Yukon are silent. All are in class, especially 3rd grade teachers and students, who are prepping for the decisive test that will either send a student to 4th grade or get them a year of extra help.

Inside the capitol, legislators and parents against the high stakes test made their concerns heard.

"We've taken the classroom away from our teacher. 

"The anxiety is at an all-time high."

"How dare anyone tell my son he's not good enough, because I see the improvements he makes."

Inside Debbie Bounds' third grade classroom, the high amount of pressure is the easy question But Mrs. Bounds isn't letting it be the answer.

"We're trying not to let the pressure get to us. [We're] just trying to put it aside and just do what we know," said Bounds.

Since February, Bounds and her students have been focused on preparing for this test, including a practice test every day for the last two weeks. If a student scores low…

"Then we talk about what we could have done to make your grade higher," said Bounds.

The other main subject for Bounds' class is just taking a test in general, because the 3rd grade is the very first time students take a standardized test.

"It's important they feel comfortable," said Bounds.

Comfort is something State Superintendent Janet Baressi feels every student could have instead of anxiety.

"It comes from adults inappropriately applying that pressure on children. I'll be very frank with you," said Baressi.

Bounds and her students only concern is to score anything but unsatisfactory. 

"I look them in the eyes and tell them I know they can do this," said Bounds.

Schools can begin testing on April 10, but because of a three-week window, Parkland and other schools will be able to test over the next two weeks.

The grades students could receive are advanced, satisfactory, limited knowledge and unsatisfactory. If a student scores unsatisfactory, he or she will have to pass a second test to go to 4th grade.