Junior WCAS


Fifth period physics students Alec Villa(11) and Victoria Litton(12), listen to Mr.Davis while he teaches them about heat capacity.

Vivian Potong, Writer

This is the second year that AHS juniors have been required to take the WCAS, or Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science. According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) students are required to be tested in science at each level of schooling. This year the test will take place on May 20 through the 21. Though some juniors have already taken the End of Course science exam their freshman year of high school. So why are juniors taking a test that’s not required for graduation even though they’ve already taken the EOC?

Juniors are upset that the administration hasn’t spread the word about the WCAS. Many juniors don’t even know about the upcoming test. Allison Deberry (11) had recently found out from her brother and thought they were Thursday the 16th. She as well as others are annoyed that their EOC, taken freshman year, is not going to count for anything. Allison made a good point when she said “no one’s going to try their best, if a hard question comes up they’re not going to attempt it.” Now this is the problem. Why try on the test if the grade doesn’t matter?

Many students I spoke to take AP or advanced classes, and even though they’re used to rigorous testing, they’re not excited about taking another test. It’s getting close to finals season and it’s currently AP testing, and  students don’t want to top it off with another test. Georgia Arnold(11) said “I’m not going to stress myself out about it, I’ll do my best, but I’m not going to go out of my way and study”. This is how most students are going into the test, but are we even prepared?

According to Mr.Davis, head of science department, says that the WCAS are mostly about the scientific process, analyzing numbers, and drawing conclusions. The science teachers are told to keep teaching how they normally do because the test is based on everything we’ve learned. He says that the test is mostly for federal accountability and a reflection of the teaching, like most other standardized tests. After we finish everyone’s schools will be compared to other schools to see what science teachers are the best. When talking about students taking the test, Davis says, “I hope they try, Murray and I do a pretty good job at teaching kids, and people have said in the past it’s easy”. Davis went on to say “it’s not a test of what you don’t know.”