Stop Standardized Testing

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Stop Standardized Testing

Emily Callcut, Op-Ed Contributer

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 Require Or Inspire?

I walk into class and collapse into my seat. I look around the room, and then I spot it on the agenda: M-Step. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. The whole class groans, and our teacher sighs and says, “I dislike this as much as you do.” During the test, I look around, only to see kids staring at their screens with glazed eyes, slumped over, and some are even snoring quietly. A few kids finish fairly quickly, while others spend hours trying to complete the exhausting test, and to what benefit? Year after year, we have to suffer through hours on end of testing for information that teachers know they don’t need.

Michigan Schools should not have standardized testing. Often, standardized tests don’t accurately represent a student’s level of understanding. For example, some students have trouble because of problems at home, like fighting or family issues, while others may be smart but have a rough time taking tests. Other issues like pressure from parents, stress, distractions, or exhaustion could affect the outcome of a test, and the fact that they take a lot of time could affect a student’s focus.

Also, standardized tests are unnecessary. Good teachers already know, or are getting to know, the capabilities of their students. They miss out on hours of instructional time, taken away by time allotted for the tests. In a 66-district study, researchers found that eighth graders experience the most standardized testing of a K-12 range. The average eighth grader takes 10.3 standardized tests per year, spanning about 25.3 hours. That is 25.3 hours that teachers could spend teaching students about topics that matter. Many students aren’t eager to do well on something that wastes that much of their time.

On the contrary, many teachers and school administrators claim that taking these tests can help them determine when, why, and what to teach their students. It’s important to remember that, as stated previously, good teachers know the capabilities of their students. Furthermore, the outcome of the tests will most likely be different from person to person.  If a student who did well on a biological section of a science test had to sit through a lesson about animal biology, only because someone else had done poorly on that section, it would be a waste of time for that student, and any others in the same circumstance. Michael Casserly states, “The result is an assessment system that’s not very intelligent and not coherent.” This supports the belief that the tests are insignificant.

In conclusion, Michigan schools should not give standardized tests. They are unnecessary, inaccurate, and a waste of time. Almost any student, if asked, would say that they immensely dislike the nuisance that is a standardized test. Often, teachers wholeheartedly agree with their students when receiving complaints, claiming that they “are required to” give the tests. It tells you something when the person giving the exam doesn’t agree with the method. The removal of standardized testing could lead to happier students and more time for teachers to teach.

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About the Writer
Emily Callcut, Contributer

Emily is an eighth grader. She loved being part of the Yearbook and is excited to start working on the newspaper. She enjoys tennis, figure skating, and...

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