The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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DC CAPE timing hurts students

Every spring, AP tests send students into a chaotic spiral of studying and trying to remember the equations they learned in October. The announcement of DC CAPE (Comprehensive Assessment of Progress in Education) testing has added to that stress. 

DC CAPE, the exam replacing PARCC, tests students on English, Math, and Science. It is required for all DCPS students, grades three to 10. Being the first year of CAPE testing in DCPS, there have been numerous problems with the rollout; the late notification to teachers, the lack of in-class review time, and the overlap with AP testing have left students scrambling.

 DCPS lets the schools decide when to administer the tests throughout April and May. JR’s testing is scheduled at the end of the allotted time frame. The released schedule follows the trend of previous years: juniors and seniors get mornings off due to CAPE.

However, the lack of communication with both students and teachers before CAPE has caused significant confusion. Teachers often plan their curriculum at the start of the year, but with the testing schedule being announced one week before the exams, it is difficult for teachers to plan their last few classes accordingly. This quick change cuts several AP review classes, leaving teachers to dedicate their last days before the exam to new topics, troubling students who rely on in-class review time for the upcoming exams. 

DC CAPE testing also overlaps with the first week of AP exams. This mostly affects sophomores, as they are the only AP students who are required to take CAPE.  This lack of planning and coordination directly affects JR students during a time when they need support. 

However, the administration could minimize these issues by working with teachers. AP teachers (who aren’t proctoring) could use mornings to prepare their students for the exams. These classrooms can be used as study halls for AP students to make up the review time normally available in class.

In the coming years, CAPE should be planned further in advance so students and teachers can maximize their time. But in these coming weeks, AP students and teachers should take advantage of the time they’ve been given to prepare for their exams. The free mornings provide juniors and seniors with the perfect opportunity to self-study.

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