Put an end to the sea of standardized and educational tests students are drowning in

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ACT, SAT, MCA, PSAT all names of tests students know too well.

Since the creation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, schools across the United States have been held accountable to test their students through educational and standardized testing measures in order to assess academic progress in comparison to other schools in their district, state, and even the entire country. The purpose of mass standardized testing is to provide all schools with a “fair” and equal way to determine their strengths and weaknesses, assess global intelligence, and minimize the achievement gap regardless of socioeconomic status. Despite these positive motives, standardized and educational testing has had adverse effects with negative drawbacks which contribute to it being labeled as a social problem.

With the new wave of testing, schools have been placing too much emphasis on “studying for the test” with the use of drill-like techniques that do not foster long term growth needed for students to excel in post secondary education and in life. In just 66 Great City School systems, 401 unique tests were administered across subjects in 2014-2015. Between Pre-K and 12th grade students will average eight tests contributing to over 20 hours of class time a year. Standardized-testing regimens cost states $1.7 billion a year. A lot of money and a lot of time. The United States has actually fallen from being ranked 18th in the world in math in 2000 to 27th in 2012, doing the exact opposite of what was intended.

In addition to the numbers behind this problem, a recent phenomenon called “test anxiety” has come about as a result of the overwhelming pressure placed on students to participate in this harsh testing environment.   

In order to combat this, it is necessary to implement a policy requiring all schools across the country to set a cap on the amount of time spent preparing and participating in standardized and educational testing. This would allow for funds to be allocated for more efficiently as they would be used to meet the needs of lower income schools, purchase more educational devices, hire better educators and pay teachers a salary they deserve, and go toward making post secondary education attainable. The hours spent on the lengthy tests could be time used to learn and develop a better understanding of “real life” concepts and ideas vital to real world success.

Please show your support of keeping schools a place where students are immersed growth and learning. There is so much more to people than just their ability to fill in a bubble.   

 



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