No ITBS Bribe


Sonja Paulson, Features and Profiles Editor

There’s something nice about the start of a new semester. New schedule, new teachers, and (hopefully) a new attitude. Along with that new semester however, comes the much dreaded, standardized testing.

Last year, Gilbert High School showed more growth on standardized testing than Ames High. That statement alone, is unacceptable. How dare we let Gilbert beat us?! To combat Gilbert’s superior scores, the administration at Ames High added a bribe in order to motivate students to do their absolute best while testing. What was that bribe you ask? Well that bribe was if a student shows enough growth (8%) on either math or english they could exempt one of their finals. If they showed the required amount of improvement in both areas, they could exempt from 2 finals.

This bribe was an excellent idea to get the students motivated for testing. However, when the results came back, many already high-achieving students were disappointed. These students were already scoring in the 98th and 99th percentile and it was impossible for them to show the growth required to exempt a final. This thoughtful bribe quickly turned into an annoyance of high scoring students towards lower scoring students. The bribe soon got labeled as unfair, annoying, and pointless.

Looking back at the outcome of the last bribe, the Ames High administration decided to take away the bribe because it was unfair. With the bribe now nonexistent, many students felt no need to try on testing and even bubbled in words such as “W-E-E-D” and “4-2-0” to show their high level of maturity.

The bribe was a great idea to motivate students, and it is unfortunate that it was unable to benefit the whole student body. With that being said, I hope that the bribe will make a reappearance in the near future, but with a some changes that will profit all students.