Who doesn’t want to earn Hoover bucks?


Kay Tieu, Staff Writer

On April 25, Cardinal Juniors began taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, during the school day. The SBAC is a digital assessment based on Common Core Standards that evaluates how well students understand and can apply concepts and skills in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. These summative assessments are state-mandated, with students typically taking the English and Math tests from third grade through eighth grade, and once in high school, typically in eleventh grade. (The Science tests are administered in fifth and eighth grade, and then once in high school). Students’ performance on these tests are classified in one of four levels – Standard Not Met, Standard Nearly Met, Standard Met, and Standard Exceeded.

To encourage students to do well on these tests, Hoover will be rewarding students who meet standards with twenty Hoover Bucks, and those who exceed state standards with forty Hoover Bucks. These Hoover Bucks can pay for prom, and the yearbook (which can cost over fifty dollars each), and Hoover merchandise in the ASB store. Students have a chance at earning Hoover Bucks on both their English and math tests, so they have a chance at earning up to eighty Hoover Bucks.

This initiative, to reward students who try hard on the SBACs, began in 2018 with Hoover’s Principal Babineau.

“I pitched the idea to our Hoover Alumni Organization, who proudly funded the effort,” stated Mr. Babineau.  “I’m grateful that they continue to fund it every year after seeing our SBAC scores continue to rise.  The incentive is mutually beneficial, as it provides “money” to our students to use at the ASB Store, whose profits then go straight back to the students!”

He also understood that prom, yearbooks, and Cardinal Merch could get expensive and wanted to provide students with another way to enjoy access to these events/items (through Hoover Bucks).

This initiative is only offered for SBAC testing for a few reasons. First, students who take other important tests (like the SAT and ACT), usually already have an incentive to do well (– such as to create a strong college application). With the SBACs, Hoover bucks might help students find that motivation to try hard. Second, SBACs are administered without charge to students (while SAT and ACT tests sometimes do bear a cost), so all eleventh graders have a fair shot at earning Hoover Bucks. L

“SBAC scores are public and I want our school’s scores to accurately reflect our wonderful students and school community,” added Mr. Babineau.