Students are more than a score. You’d think this would be an obvious fact in our rather modern society. However, despite this evident fact, standardized testing is central to the modern education system. Why? Standardized tests are utilized annually to measure growth, and in some states are used to determine whether taxpayer’s dollars are being put to good use. But does it have to be this way? Let’s debate the pros and cons, and get a real verdict on standardized testing’s substantial worth.
There are pros and cons to testing. On the pro side, standardized testing can be used to determine a student’s growth over a certain period of time. Another pro includes the not so obvious statistic that annual standardized testing can improve academic standards on a nationwide scale. Testing is also noted to be fair, and provides equal opportunity for students to succeed regardless of gender and race. And then there’s China- the perfect model- a nation that has implemented standardized testing for decades and is the global leader in education. These facts prove standardized testing to be a benefit- or do they?
This short list of pros, however, is met by the longer list of cons. PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, SAT, and PARCC testing. A string of acronyms that bring upon stress and anxiety for students. It’s argued that standardized testing is unfair and not progressively improving the education system. This is seen in proof that standardized testing narrows school curriculum and encourages drill and kill teaching techniques. Not to mention use of scores in the college admission process ? Is this really a reflective statistic of a student’s academic ability and dedication as a student? Standardized testing has no role in a student’s preparation for life as an adult. Tests are also believed to strip student’s of their creativity, which is actually utilized in adult life. These tests and the reasons they’re needed might of proven to be an unfair process for testing in America.These cons of standardized testing prove that it’s not worth it.
The rise in standardized testing is rooted in education reform during the 1990’s. This was due to low US student testing scores on international math and science tests. This led to President Bush’s proposal of “No Child Left Behind,” which passed Congress with support from both political parties. This program was designed to help determine which schools were failing and which schools weren’t. Over a decade later, children have seen a multitude of standardized tests from grade school to high school, and even as they go on to become lawyers and doctors and so forth. Nevertheless, a good idea at the time, has standardized testing really been utilized the way it was meant to?All in all, it’s quite obvious that standardized testing sucks; and yes, this decision has been concluded to with it’s inconsequential list of pros in mind. Students shouldn’t be subjected to a number and neither should their teacher's salaries. Yes, education reform in America has brought upon benefits, but as a student who’s been taking standardized tests her whole life, I believe we can make it better. While standardized testing brought upon change, the change that comes with future education reform should no doubt be both progressive and groundbreaking. Why? Because our students deserve better than this.