Why Standerized Tests?
The FCAT or the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test was tomorrow and she still hadn’t studied enough. The girl looked over her notes and her eyes glazed over from lack of sleep, her skin red from her anxiety attacks.
If she didn’t get a minimum score of 3 on her tests, she would likely have to work with tutors every day and would probably be forced to move to lower standard classes. She looked at her clock; 11:00 P.M. She was going to be exhausted tomorrow. She thought this as she slowly nodded off to sleep. The standardized tests inflicted upon students is not the best way to measure how well a school itself is doing because the overuse of tests risks cheating,are inaccurate and forces stress upon the students and its staff.
Standardized testing was created in order to develop students’ minds as well as to see their standing points in academics and if they had improved or not during the course of the year. Unfortunately, with these multiple choice tests, distrust and dishonesty can occur in every category. The overuse of these special exams can increase the risk of cheating inside schools. According to the article titled Overuse of Tests Feeds Cheating, “In just the past four years, cheating on high-stakes exams has been confirmed in 37 states and Washington, D.C., according to a survey posted at fairtest.
org” (Schaeffer, Bob). Not only do students feel compelled to deceive the tests but some school’s do as well. “Test score gamesmanship is fallout from the nation’s explosion of standardized exam misuse and overuse. When policymakers attach bonuses and sanctions to test scores, some schools feel compelled to generate the numbers they need, by hook or by crook” (Schaeffer, Bob). If there are so many risks gambled when taking these tests, then why should the school depend on it to evaluate their performance? Not only are these exams scamming but they are also inaccurate and do not create a clear vision of a student’s future as well as they claim they do.
In the school year of 2013, only 43% out of the 1.6 million students who took the SATs (Scholastic Assessment Test) met above or the average score and passed—but 57% did not (Jacobsen, Katherine). However, even though 57 percent of the students did not pass the SATs that does not mean that they will not lead successful and productive lives. This examination is, in reality, just a test that should not dictate a person’s future. According to Flat lining SAT Scores Are ‘A Call to Action’ for Educators, “‘The SAT report shows a set of correlations, and it does not tell all that needs to be known about what leads to success in college,’ says Professor Paul Reville, an education expert at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
” (Jacobsen, Katherine). Regrettably, this crucial mistake found within the standardized examinations is not realized by many, and often times ends up dictating the students’ future actions. Several education experts believe that the best way to analyze a student’s progress is to use this form of testing. I do agree with this however, I greatly disagree with the amount of emphasis that states place on these tests. One test should not be the foundation of observing how well a school is doing and when the disadvantages are put against the advantages in this tactic, the disadvantages clearly stand out. District officials claim that standardized testing is good for the students and greatly benefits them in the future, but is the stress and anxiety attacks caused by these exams really good for them? The burden of these examinations takes out the fun, happy-go-lucky experience of being a kid.
Instead of playing outside with friends and receiving exercise, we are forced to remain indoors, bombarded with work given by teachers and worrying about a test that greatly influences whether we pass to the next grade or not. According to More Parents Opting Kids Out of Standardized Tests, many parents are against this practice of testing because of “…the stress they believe it brings on young students, discomfort with tests being used to gauge teacher performance, fear that corporate influence is overriding education and concern that test prep is narrowing curricula down to the minimum needed to pass an exam” (Zezima, Katie). For these reasons, many parents are not allowing their children to take these evaluations. Students along with both parents and teachers are protesting across the nation, objecting to the way in which these tests are heading.One teacher had this to say about the examinations and curriculum both students and teachers are forced to follow, “‘I’m opposed to these tests because they narrow what education is supposed to be about and they lower kids’ horizons,’ said Jesse Hagopian, a teacher at the Seattle school.
“I think collaboration, imagination, critical thinking skills are all left off these tests and can’t be assessed by circling in A, B, C or D” (Zezima, Katie). If these exams are so unhelpful for the students and have so many problems attached to them, then why aren’t officials considering changing the policy that schools follow? And furthermore, if these tests inflict so much stress on students, which can easily lead to blank outs during the tests, why would districts even think to use them as evaluation tools for the schools? It is reasonable to take tests; people are forced to do so throughout their entire lives. But to take an exam with so many variables within it and then use that to demonstrate how well a school is doing is unjust. These examinations bring stress to both students and teachers and are so invalid that they are effortless to cheat on and lie to individuals, stating that they make an outline of their future. We still persist to use these tests even though they prove to be of no great use as well as a burden to both student and school.