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Schools offer rewards in return for high California Standards Tests scores

MONDAY, APRIL 02, 2012 16:40 PM

Each spring, second- through eleventh-graders in California take part in the California STAR Testing Program, which includes the California Standards Tests (CST), according to the state’s Department of Education. Students who take the CST are assessed in the areas of reading, writing, math, science and history.

The CST are important to schools throughout California as their results influence each institution’s Academic Performance Index, according to the news source. However, many of the officials from these schools believe that students do not always perform to the best of their abilities.

"The overall attitude toward these tests is, 'If it doesn’t show up on my report card and if I don’t need it to graduate, it doesn’t matter,'" Steven Bonaccorso, an English teacher at John O’Connell High School, told the news outlet. "They find them incredibly boring and tedious, and frankly, I don’t blame them."

In an effort to raise scores on the CST, some schools offer incentives. For instance, at Mission High School, Principal Eric Guthertz provides test takers with a reward in the event that their scores rise, the news source reported.

To date, Guthertz has had to get a tattoo of Mission’s mascot and students have been treated to a gourmet meal from local restaurants. This spring, students will receive their latest reward, a trip aboard a dance cruise.