Taylor Scarver is a 16 year old Junior at City on a Hill Charter school. During an interview about the education system, Taylor was asked questions about testing in schools and the stricter discipline policies in Charter Schools. We also spoke briefly about the inequity in funding in schools. These are her answers to the questions that were asked.
How does testing make you feel?
“I’m totally fine with testing but when it is continuous like every day or month it’s really unnecessary. I don’t really like tests that are more than 2 hours because it tires me. Like the MCAS was the whole freaking day and we weren’t even allowed to take naps or even put our heads down so basically everyone in the room was testing half asleep.”
Do you think it is fair that English language Learners and Special Education students get the same test as other people?
“No, I think that they should be tested on what they understand at that time and then continue to rise to 'normal' standards when they're ready".
Do you think that discipline is fair in your school?
"I think that rules that they set previously such as demerits for chewing gum or being late are okay but when teachers take it to the extreme like giving a demerit for asking for a pencil or a piece of paper its just stupid. To be honest if they give me a demerit each day for wearing mismatch socks I'd be like,' Okay you can go to my house and find the other side yourself'".
Do you feel pressure rather than encouragement to succeed? Does passing the MCAS being a graduation requirement make you feel more pressure to pass?
"Yea it puts more weight on your shoulders because you also have to worry about grades, SATs, ACTs, and stuff like that"
Do you think it is fair that a person's education is dependent on the neighborhood they grow up in? For example, people who grow up in low income communities tend to get poorer educations.
"No I think it is unfair. I think everyone should get the same amount of education that they need in order to succeed, no matter where they're from"
Does the pressure and emphasis that your school places on testing take away from other things like having a music program or extracurriculars? Does the pressure make you not want to learn or make school less fun?
"The pressure makes me really tired and bored at school and usually after school I want to go straight home because I literally can't take enough of being at school so I usually wouldn't be involved in music or cheer or anything that involves staying longer"