Friday: The Best Way to Ruin a Great Week

By Ivana Kosir

After three weeks of school with nothing but a late start and one day off, this week seems like a gift from the heavens: Wednesday and Thursday are testing days and/or no school days depending on your grade.  We only have two consecutive days of class instruction (Monday and Tuesday), and then of course there is Friday.

Friday, a.k.a. senior ditch day, underclassmen ditch day, and one of the biggest don’t-do-anything-in-any-class days of the year. Kids love this week, but from the perspective of a administrator or staff member, who would plan the week accordingly?

After questioning principal Kaine Osburn through an electronic mailing system, I found the answer to my question.

“The state chooses those dates. We are bound to give the ACT/PSAE on those days by the state. The tests for 9th and 10th graders then, makes sense on those days too,” wrote Osburn in the email.

I agree with Osburn in that testing freshmen and sophomores on the days that the juniors have to take the ACT makes sense, but why would the state of Illinois insist on testing students in the middle of the week? Couldn’t they have done it at the beginning or end of a week, or just give us Friday off?

Well, according to Osburn, the state orders schools to administer the ACT in the middle of the week for attendance purposes.

Students are more likely to be absent on a Monday or Friday than a Wednesday or Thursday, according to the state.

The problem lies after the test days; that’s right, Friday.

Look at it from a student’s view. The beginning of the week goes by normally, then boom. For the next two days, we are either being tested, have no school, or a combination of the two. And then we are expected to come back for one day before a weekend. For the seniors, it’s like having a weekend, going to school for a day, and then having a weekend again. The juniors are fried from taking two days of standardized tests in a row, and then they are expected to come to school for one more day. To me, it seems a bit poorly scheduled.

Now look at it from a teacher’s view. They don’t teach their classes for two days in a row, and then they see their students for one day before a weekend. Students are either a) tired from testing,  b) not willing to work/excited for a weekend, c) not present, or d) a combination of a, b, or c. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it’s definitely more difficult for a teacher to control and teach a class under some of the conditions previously stated.

The solution to all of this? No school on Friday. Problems solved, and everyone is happy. The end.