CELDT waste of time, disorganized

I was shocked and infuriated when I was informed that I would have to take the California English Language Development Test.

 I have been attending the Bay Area Urban Debate League for over a year. I even obtained fifth place speaker for the entire Oakland Varsity division. In debate, I speak English to get my point across, English that is usually complicated.

 Some people my age that have English as a first language wouldn’t even comprehend half the things I talk about in debate; it’s that sophisticated. That’s why I find it so absurd that the school is questioning my ability to speak English now.

 The CELDT was given on Nov. 3 by the state to make sure all students whose first language isn’t English are able to speak and understand English well.

 There was no advanced notice that we would have to take the CELDT, and some of us had not taken the test in years. 

 Teachers who aren’t native to the English language were told they would give the test as well as uncertified staff.

 Felicidad Guirao, a native of Spain and the “Español Para Hispanos” (EPH) teacher at Media Academy, was one of the teachers who were told to administer the exam, which included oral instructions.

 She said that she was not prepared to give the CELDT to students. She also believes that the person who gives the test should to be certified.

 So if the school doesn’t even assign or have people who are certified to give the CELDT, why give it to students in the first place?

 The last time I had to take the CELDT test was in eighth grade, and I was informed I had passed it. I didn’t understand why I had to take the test again.

 Media Academy later explained that they couldn’t access the records of my previous school, where I had previously passed the CELDT, so I had to retake it.

 It’s ridiculous for high schools to implement this test. If students whose first language is not English do not understand or speak it well, the California High School Exit Exam will determine that. They shouldn’t have to take an unnecessary test that won’t help them.

 Taking the CELDT unannounced caused a tremendous inconvenience for me because taking the test made me miss three periods. This caused me to fall back in my assignments from those classes.

Marisol Rodriguez, who is the after school program coordinator for Media and Mandela, also agreed that when the state implements a test based on ethnic background, it is Racial Profiling within the Educational system.

 It isn’t fair for the district to decide who had to take the test based only their last name, only because it’s Spanish. It just goes to show that the state of California and Oakland Unified School District are not aware of the capability of their students.

 In other words the state and the school still question Latino student’s ability to succeed. Oakland needs to make the access to records easier and don’t make this mistake again.