Standardized testing not testing much

Kayla Mountain, BHS Journalism

Standardized testing now impacts thousands of schools, but is necessary and beneficial to our schools? Standardized tests create pressure on not only students, but teachers as well.  Teachers in many states and counties are rewarded and suffer consequences based off of the improvement or scores on the students’ tests, making them more likely to waste instructional time “teaching to the test” instead of teaching them information that will not only help them at a higher level of education, but when they have jobs in the real world. This system creates stress on the teachers, which may even stress younger children to do well. As students get older, they realize that their scores do not impact their grade and GPA, so they do not care about doing well on the tests. This may show an inaccurate display of the teacher’s ability.

The same or a similar test is assigned to each student filled with information they may have learned throughout the year. These test also do not show the individual abilities of each student. These tests fail to show how well a student’s works with their peers, problem solving skills, drive to do well, and creativity according to education researcher Gerald W. Bracey.  Testing may also be difficult for students with special needs, because they must take the same test. They are only allowed a few accommodations based off of their Individual Education Plan.

Some schools take away from the test itself and making it even less about the students. Many schools receive awards for having the highest scores or improvement in a region. This makes a school reputation look better, so they apply even more pressure on the students. Many programs also cost a lot of money that could be used for other things that can benefit the students’ learning Education Week says. “Standardized-testing regimens cost states some $1.7 billion a year overall, or a quarter of 1 percent of total K-12 spending in the United States.”

We need to stop standardized testing or lower how much we depend on these tests. It does not always provide accurate information and do not help students learn important material. It creates more pressure to (already stressed out) students, teachers and administrators.