Sophomores at Wausau West High School are about two-thirds the way through taking state standardized tests, and they have no questions about how critical it is that they do well.
West administrators and teachers have underscored the importance of the exams through announcements, letters to parents and classroom discussions. But the students haven’t been given special snacks, nor has the school offered a pep-rally-like assembly to get their brains sparking.
“We’ve tried those kinds of things in the past,” Principal Jeb Steckbauer said. “But I guess that over the years, we haven’t seen things as necessarily a positive thing. They weren’t negative, but we didn’t see them really working.”