The Negative Impact of Standardized Testing

An article written by Derek Huges titled, The Negative Effects of Standardized Testing, in 2001, No Child Left Behind stated that schools should be performing well on standardized testing. If schools were not performing well, the tests have the possibility of being restructured. “Standardized testing is a practice by which exams are administered and scored in a uniform way, meaning they are administered and scored in the same way in every school and classroom,” stated by Derek Hughes. The Negative Effects of Standardized Testing states, within the past few years, standardized testing results have had negative effects on students as well as teachers. It has been proven that standardized tests do not reflect what students have learned in the classroom. Today, standardized testing has negative impact on students as well as teachers because the information on standardized testing often does not reflect what is being taught in the classroom to students.

In every classroom, students are not all on the same learning level. Some students may pick up on information quickly while it takes other students a longer time to understand information. David Hughes states in the article, The Negative Effects of Standardized Testing, it is impossible to have a standardized test that will accurately reflect every student’s effort and knowledge. Standardized testing puts a significant amount of stress on the students and the teachers. Often, teachers place an importance of high scores in the classroom. The pressure put onto the students of needing a high score, results in the student becoming stressed out about getting a high score which as the possibility of affecting their testing performance. Every student is different. Some students are terrible test takers but make straight A’s in school while other students are great test takers but make poor grades in school. If a student does well on a standardized test and is placed into a higher class for the following academic year but is not actually ready for a higher level can have a negative impact on the student’s grade. The student could become frustrated because they do not understand the information that is being taught in class. Then there are students who are very intelligent but make poor scores on a standardized test and then put into a lower level class for the following academic year.

In 2014, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated “too much standardized testing was “sucking the oxygen out of the room” and causing “undue stress” not only for students but teachers as well according to the a Washington post article titled 13 Ways High-Stakes Standardized Tests Hurt Students by Valarie Strauss.

Valarie Strauss states in the article, 13 Ways High-Stakes Standardized Tests Hurt Students, a NEA survey was completed by teachers, resulting in, teachers feeling pressured to improve student’s tests scores. 72 percent of teachers stated that they felt “moderate” or “extreme” pressure from school and district administrators for them to help their students make the highest test scores possible. A lot of teachers say it is a waste of time and they could be spending their time teaching their students valuable lessons that will be carried with them throughout their academic career.

Tim Walker, states in an article titled, NEA: Survey: Nearly Half of Teachers Consider Leaving Profession Due to Standardized, teachers are reducing content knowledge by becoming more focused on teaching students how to take standardizes tests. They are loosing focus of what should really be taught in the classroom. The curriculum is being narrowed down focusing on reading, math scores, students are not getting a solid background of history, world languages, arts, and other programs. A lot of useful information is being taken away because of what is being provided on a standardized test.

Not only that, but standardized testing week causes daily routine in schools to change according to an article by Tim Walker, NEA: Survey: Nearly Half of Teachers Consider Leaving Profession Due to Standardized. During test week, schools are basically on “lock-down” with limited access to restrooms, different schedule for lunch, recess, and other activities, or no activities at all during test week. This can have a negative impact on the classroom. A survey stated that forty-two percent of surveyed teachers sated that improving standardized test scores has quite a “negative impact” on their classroom. Because of standardized testing, the curriculum has changed drastically.

Based off an article by David F. Labaree, Targeting Teachers, a lot of individuals view teaching as an “easy job,” in reality, it is a much harder job than people think. Teachers are depending on students for success and it is ultimately up to the student to learn the information. Teachers are now being required to teach what is on standardized tests. If a student does not pay attention to what is being taught in class, they may have a chance of making a low score on the test.

This causes a student not performing well on the test and receiving a low score. If a student receives a low score, it could affect them moving up to the next grade level, class level, or even getting accepted into college. This causes internalized failure. Students who struggle on standardized test may begin to believe they are worthless and feel as if they are unable to succeed in school. Standardized testing should strictly be based off of lessons being taught by the teacher. Lessons should actually focus on a solid curriculum that will benefit their students in the future rather than just memorizing information to make a high score on a test.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Standardized Testing (HBO)

Labaree, D. F. (2011). Targeting Teaches. Re-Imaagining Education Reform, 9–14.

Hughes, D. The Negative Effects of Standardized Testing. . Retrieved June 15, 2016.

Strauss, V. (2014, March 11). 13 Ways High-Stakes Standardized Tests Hurt Students. The Washington Post.

Walker, T. (2014, November). NEA Survey: Nearly Half Of Teachers Consider Leaving Profession Due to Standardized Testing. neaToday.

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