Goodbye to CAPTivating Standardized Testing at BHS

By Faythe Ventresca It’s time to say goodbye to CAPTain Courageous and all the CAPTivating school days, but it is still unclear what new testing system is coming our way. The state of Connecticut has made their decision about switching standardized testing throughout high schools. Over the years, sophomores were required to take CAPT (Connecticut Academic Performance Test). Schools are now switching to a new online testing system. Although there has been a change, sophomores are still required to take the CAPT science test in the spring of 2014. Replacing CAPT will be an online testing system called SBAC (Smarter Balanced). “Government information is still coming in…,” states Principal Mr. Panagoulias, “we do not have a set date or format yet.” There is a possibility that juniors will also have to take this test, but the details still aren't settled. When CAPT was taking place, freshman would go to assigned classrooms and attend “CAPT Academy”. This “Academy” included taking practice tests and then explaining the correct answers. Even though there is a new testing system, freshman will still have assigned practice examples. In school, tests are written based. The classes at BHS do not take online tests, and this is a growing concern of screen fatigue for the students. Mr. Panagoulias said that [students] are used to looking at electronic screens, but, this test may cause screen fatigue. If students get screen fatigue, the test result will decrease, causing testing problems. Certain English classes took the pilot of the online test, and most students explained how they did indeed get screen fatigue. “(SBAC) Seemed easier than the CAPT, but I didn’t have enough time to complete the test; it was really repetitive. My eyes got so tired from staring at the screen, especially the reading section,” says Cynthia Floyd,a senior, who took the pilot test in 2013. What do you think about the end of CAPT? How do you think Branford High students will do on a new standardized test? Let us know in the comments or @branfordbuzz on Twitter.