Don’t make us choose between being good students and good citizens

RBs student body had to choose between staying up late to see election results on 11/6, or being well-rested for testing on 11/7.  Why?

Nick Kirkines

RB’s student body had to choose between staying up late to see election results on 11/6, or being well-rested for testing on 11/7. Why?

Kate Alaks, Opinion Editor

Which future is more important to you? Is it your personal future, based on the test scores and scholarships that might help determine the path of your life? Or is it the future of the country, determined by the presidential election and beyond?

No one should have to choose between the two, but this year we had to.

On Tuesday, November 6th, America elected a president. The election went late, through the night until the president was announced. On Wednesday, November 7th, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors had to be at school ten minutes early for state testing. Freshmen took the EXPLORE test and sophomores took the PLAN test, while juniors took a practice ACT.

The general consensus is that students, even those of us not old enough to vote, should pay attention to politics. I agree. We will be voters all too soon, and it’s a good idea to get familiar with the ideas and issues brought up in this election. As tensions mounted, politically minded students found themselves staying up later and later to find out who would be running our country for the next four years.

But we are also told to start preparing for college from the time we come in as freshmen, and whether we like it or not, part of that includes test scores. We are also told, frequently, about proper test preparation strategies.

Bring number two pencils, eat a good breakfast, bring a snack.  Above all else, get to bed early.

These two ideals for high school students clearly conflicted this year. And this dilemma is not isolated. In October, the PSAT/NMSQT test, taken by juniors and sophomores in hopes of a scholarship, was placed on the 17th, the day after the second presidential debate.

I realize that it was not the school that set these dates. The PSAT/NMSQT the date was set by the state. In regards to the ACT, EXPLORE, and PLAN tests, the school was offered a small window of time to offer the test in if they wanted the state to pay for it, and I can understand that the school wanted to take advantage of that.

But it’s not as if the election dates were a secret.

It may be too late to do anything about it this year, but I would hope that in the future the state takes something as important as the presidential election into consideration when they set important dates for students. Otherwise, we will be forced to choose between being educated about the fate of our country and being educated in a good college.

It’s not a choice we should have to make.