It is not easy for California educators to get their students fired up about taking the California Standards Tests (CST), which are a component of the California STAR Testing Program. For Casey Kilgore, the principal at Franklin Elementary School, the best way to motivate her students was to promise she would one day kiss a pig in return for high CST scores, The Santa Barbara Independent reported.
This is exactly what Franklin students recently got to see their principal do, as Kilgore got down on all fours, puckered up and kissed Snowball, a 130-pound miniature Vietnamese potbelly pig. Although she promised to smooch Snowball only once, Kilgore was a good sport and gave the pig an additional kiss for good measure.
The reason for Kilgore's pig encounter goes back two years, when she promised to pucker up if they performed well on the CST and, as a result, raised their Academic Performance Index (API) by 25 points. While students did not achieve this goal the first year, they managed to make the 25-point leap this year.
In addition to boosting or lowering API, CST scores are important as they show how well students and the schools they attend are performing, according to the California Department of Education.