The issues surrounding standardized testing

Courtesy+of+Creative+Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

A picture of a students taking a standardized test

The standardized testing system is a way that schools pinpoint areas for improvement, and can help schools evaluate progress. As a metric system for learning, it may help the school evaluate the students, but standardized testing may negatively impact the confidence of the students taking the test. It creates pressure for the teachers to “teach the test,” and the scores do not provide a true picture of a student’s ability.

For students that are not good test takers, standardized testing can create anxiety and stress about doing well. This gives the students poor-confidence and lowers their motivation.

Sophomore Sadie Peters has always struggled with testing in school, stating it helps lead to “bad anxiety.” She went on to state, “…I always start to feel more anxious when I know I am having a standardized test coming up. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life and high-stake standardized testing definitely adds to that.”

The obsession with high stake standardized testing is interfering with creativity and imagination in the classroom. Teachers take out projects that provide students with creative outlets. According to The Washington Post,  “There is nothing creative or imaginative about filling in a bubble sheet for a multiple choice test.”

Teachers program their students to get the correct answer on the test, rather than help them understand the questions being asked.

In an article written by publicschoolreview.com it stated, “In a 2012 study, the declining instructional quality was correlated with the rise of high-stakes testing, particularly in the weeks leading up to the test. It was discovered that teachers did not present challenging problems as often nor did they prompt students to conceptually understand solutions.”

Standardized testing is also promoting a culture of cheating in many schools around the United States. The stress that teachers and administrators must have students get high test scores is directly influencing this issue. “Recent cheating scandals involving teachers and administrators in Atlanta and dozens of other cities have been directly linked to the pressure to raise test scores,” according to The Washington Post.

Students take standardized tests in almost all of their classes and this testing has become a natural way of life in education. The article publicschoolreview.com continued to state, “American students take an average of 112 standardized tests between kindergarten and grade 12.”

Hopefully the education system will take note of the problems surrounding standardized testing and work to improve the school system for students.