Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

Students are subjected to too much testing

Carly McAleer, Ecker Hill Middle School student

"Sometimes the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds" (Diane Ravitch). As schooling has progressed and new ways have been created to strengthen young individuals' minds, more tests have been made to challenge their intellectual abilities. Being tested over and over again on the same thing is not going to help a person remember that information, doing something with it to change how people see things will make you remember it. Standardized testing is not a good way to help students learn and should not be forced unless it is part of their class.

First of all, long testing periods take away valuable time. As stated on theatlantic.com, "Eighty-one percent believe their students spend too much time taking tests mandated by their state or district, according to the study by the Center on Education Policy, based at George Washington University." During the course of a year at Ecker Hill Middle school, students are required to take 14 different tests throughout the year. The first nine tests each take 45 minutes to an hour to complete which take away approximately eight hours out of their school time. This is equivalent to one school day and an hour. Think about how much a student could learn in that time instead of taking a test. On top of that, students must take five 90-minute (give or take a few) tests. All these tests added together equal about 12 and one-half hours to complete. If students take longer to complete these tests, they take even more valuable time out of their day.

In addition, standardized tests put loads of stress on students during testing weeks. Some students may already have things happening at home that generate more stress which create lots of anxiety for students during these testing weeks. As stated on brainconnection.brainhq.com, "Anecdotal report from educators, combined with a surge in prescriptions for such medications as Ritalin and Prozac, suggest that students are experiencing increased stress in the classroom. At the root of the problem, some researchers suggest, are schools that primarily rank students based on their test scores.” Standardized testing adds unneeded stress on students during the weeks testing takes place. No matter the reason, adding unneeded stress is not necessary to the progression of students in school and does not help them to perform better on tests.

Subsequently, not all standardized tests are important and may be redundant. As stated on edweek.org, "Students across the nation are taking tests that are redundant, misaligned with college- and career-ready standards, and often don’t address students’ mastery of specific content.” Students take many similar tests throughout their school year that doesn’t help them through later schooling years Any tests given should be ones that help with a student’s mastery. By taking redundant tests, students are showing what they already know multiple times and not exhibiting what they should know.

Opponents to this case state that standardized testing throughout the school year is beneficial to a student's growth, but this is unagreeable. Too much standardized testing will dull a student’s desire to learn and therefore too much testing shouldn’t be permitted. Testing is a part of life no matter what you do, but taking tests that won't move your forward or help to put you on the right path are a waste of time, energy, and stress. We have a limited amount of time in our day, how do you want to spend it?

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