STAR test prank earns backlash against students


High schoolers in Cupertino may have to retake the STAR test after worries of a security breach that was prompted by a single student’s idea of a joke.

While taking the annual STAR test, a student at Monta Vista High School decided to bubble in his answer sheet in a way that illustrated the popular acronym YOLO — which stands for “you only live once,” and is associated with being young, reckless and taking risks.

The student then took cellphone pictures of the desecrated answer sheet and test booklet, and uploaded them to Facebook and Instagram.

The issue is not that the student pranked test officials or cheated, said Fremont Union High School District Superintendent Polly Bove, but rather that the student was able to take pictures of his answer sheet and distribute the image over the internet. She told KPIX-5:

“It really was not a cheating incident. It was a breach of test security.”

According to Bove, the first report of the incident was found by the California Department of Education, which monitors social media sites during the test administration window.

The idea of a retake is still being discussed, and the testing officials’ decision is expected within the next few days. If state testing officials decide to invalidate Monta Vista’s scores — the top performing school in the district — it could spell serious consequences in terms of college aptitude for the students and even real estate prices for the area.

Akfhay Savale, a sophomore at Monta Vista and a master of understatement, also does not think the prank was such a good idea. He told KPIX 5:

“I don’t think that was a very smart decision because it doesn’t just affect him, it affects the whole school. I heard that we might have to do it all over again, which is kind of annoying.”

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