Student cabinet talks computer-based testing issues, solutions

May 22, 2019 06:33 PM

ALBANY - If you live in New York and have a student in elementary or middle school, you know there have been big issues with computer-based testing these past two years.

A group of local students came together to discuss those issues in a mock hearing in Albany on Wednesday as part of Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara's student cabinet program. This program allows over a hundred of high school students from the 111th Assembly District to get an inside look at how laws are made in New York. Santabarbara said it's an engaging way to learn about the legislative process.


"They're sitting up on the podium, they're asking questions, they're playing the role of the legislator, they are getting to formulate legislation, discuss it amongst their peers just the way we would do it here," Santabarbara said.

Schalmont junior Hamza Noor said the program provides an opportunity to see how difficult it is to come up with solutions that address all of the issues and obstacles students in New York are facing.

"It really opens your eyes to things even so close to our communities that we never think about, but it has huge effects on our kids that we grow up with, but we just don't recognize it until you talk to them and you see that," Noor said.

Fonda-Fultonville senior Alexys Conti said ultimately cabinet members decided that traditional paper testing would be better for students.

Conti said there are a few reasons for that; it's easier to show work on math or science problems when the tests are on pen and paper. Plus, some students aren't well-versed in computers or typing, which can negatively affect their performance.

"A lot of students don't actually get exposed to online typing until an older age and just like language, you have to be taught at a young age if you want to stay with it your whole entire life," Conti said. "So I think it's the same way with typing, so it's really important that we understand that it's different for every student, every school district."

Santabarbara said he's excited to see how much more the program will grow and inspire the next generation of lawmakers here in New York.


Emily Burkhard

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