Standardized Testing is Unneeded and Unhelpful
Standardized testing has been around for many years to determine a child’s intelligence and turn it into a number. This is helpful for colleges when a large array of kids is set in front of them every year, but can ruin a child’s chance at getting in. Standardized tests only work for a certain kind of person, and everyone else is at risk in the sea of college selection.
A main problem with standardized testing is how they’re designed. They target time management and memory skills, and tend to neglect comprehension and creativity skills. “Standardized testing isn’t a helpful evaluation tool because such tests don’t measure the ability to think deeply or creatively. Along with a narrow spectrum of questions, most standardized tests are timed. Many students don’t work well under pressure or when they’re racing a clock.” (sonomastatestar). All kids have different ways of learning and applying knowledge. Standardized testing is a good assessment for some kids, but hides the true potential of others. “Most special needs students are required to take the same tests even if they are not capable of doing the work and have no chance of passing, a devastating experience.” (fairtest).
Some teachers focus so much on preparing their students for the test that they don’t teach them the general content you would learn from the class otherwise. The focus on student scoring high on a timed test suddenly becomes prioritized over fruitful and effective learning. “Teachers have to teach in secret and hope they don’t get into trouble for teaching to the Whole Child instead of teaching to the test.” (neatoday). This system is twisted as many studies have shown that hands-on and experience learning are more important than memorization. “We’re robbing our students of the joy and adventure of learning.” (neatoday).
The standardized tests required across America induce tons of stress through a child’s entire academic career. A test taken by a stress-induced individual is invalid as it is not a true representation of the child. This means that the entire picture of the intelligence of our students is almost completely false. “A 2009 study in Michigan found that 11 percent of children studied reported severe psychological and physiological symptoms tied to the assessments.” (fairtest). This statistic should not even exist. Children should not have any effect of a test at school. “A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for the use of standardized tests doesn’t reflect the realities of the country’s colleges and universities.” (sonomastatestar). If we want real representation of children and their abilities, these tests should be optional to reduce stress on the student and give the teachers more space to allow self-learning and enjoyment of education.
While the requirement of these tests was supposed to put every student into a competition, it does not work on a one lane track. “For students in low-income communities, the impact has been devastating.” (neatoday). Students in low-income families are now given an opportunity to rise up, but it also often adds too much stress on the child for it to be effective. Overall, this requirement needs to be repealed and children need to learn what they’re good at and thrive in their specialties.
- “Smart Money: How High-stakes Financial Innovation Is Reshaping Our World — for the Better.” Choice Reviews Online 53.01 (2015): n. pag. Web.
- “Standardized Testing Outdated and Inaccurate.” Sonoma State Star — The University’s Student-run Newspaper. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
- “The Testing Obsession and the Disappearing Curriculum.” NEA Today. N.p., 02 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.