Editorial: SAT sucks away spring break freedom

Spring break — a time for students to relax and unwind, a break from education, right? Nope. Wrong.
  In an assembly in February LHS administration explained that students SAT day would be none other than the day after students return from spring break, April 11.
Many students have expressed taking personal offense to this kind of scheduling for this important testing day.
At the informative assembly administrators told worried students that they should utilize their spring break by doing test preparations such as work on Kahn Academy online — because that is what every single student wants to spend their spring break doing.  That’s an extremely inconsiderate thing to tell to a bunch of over-worked, over-stressed students.  
  Not only that, but after having a week off from school, exhausted students need a couple days to readjust to the school schedule. What they don’t need is to be thrown into a test that determines which colleges they can attend and how much of their education can be paid for through scholarship opportunities.   
  According to Rachel Evans, the LHS academic coordinator, the SAT day was not set when the school calendar was configured. However, she said that in years prior, SAT testing day has been the second week in April, rather than immediately after spring break.
  One would think that the board in charge of scheduling the entire year would look at the day that the SAT had been administered in years prior and consider the test to be more important than the weather in August versus June.
   Supposedly, nothing can be done in order to have LHS administer the test a different day. This is because April 12 is SAT day nationwide and throughout the state of Idaho.  In addition, the State of Idaho has already signed contracts agreeing to administer the test before April 12, according to Evans.
  The reason other schools are not having scheduling conflicts with the national date is because most all schools have their spring breaks weeks beforehand, Evans said. LHS has one of the latest spring breaks. A logical solution would be to just move spring break a few weeks earlier but some administrators and teachers disagree, saying breaks in the middle of curriculum disrupt learning and make retaining the information difficult. However, LHS appears to have no issues in taking breaks in the middle of curriculum. The LHS winter break is twice as long  as spring break and happens a mere month before semester finals, while other schools in the valley end the semester when Christmas break begins.  
   Of particular note, many of the scheduling changes for the current school year happened because many families wanted to use the last week in August 2015 as vacation time, Evans said.
    Generally, students want to thrive and succeed at the SAT to better ensure a more secure future for colleges and scholarship opportunities. But the question is, do those in charge of the academic calendar want the same for students? It certainly doesn’t appear so.
  Definite changes need to occur when it comes to the school calendar.  A three-day weekend in August does not and should not outweigh a test in April that students need to do their absolute best on. As it is, many students feel as if they are being tested on a day that sets them up for failure. Editorial: SAT sucks away spring break freedom