Trapped Between Creativity and Standardized Testing

Trapped Between Creativity and Standardized Testing

While teachers constantly push their students to "think outside the box," students find themselves trapped between the walls of standardized testing.


While teachers constantly push their students to "think outside the box," students find themselves trapped between the walls of standardized testing, unable to expand beyond the dull box. While students are constantly trying to explore the depths beyond the box, teachers have to push them to focus on only a couple of subjects. Each individual student enrolls into classes that meet their best interests, yet everyone puts their main focus on a few subjects because of an educational evaluation Texas does by using standardized tests that only test the knowledge of math and reading or writing. Texas should not continue to use standardized tests because it limits the variety of choices for the real world, causes students to perform worse, and it gives students a harder time to reach their full potential.

Similar to the scripted, robotic test protocol, students start to become robotic while focused only on the few subjects being tested, limiting the focus that could be put into other subjects. If school is supposed to better prepare students for the real world in the future generations, it is better to divert their focus to the other subjects rather than focus on the same subjects. Because standardized tests target math and reading, schools focus more on these subjects alone while degrading the importance of other subjects which does not help students further explore a variety of options.

If students are given the opportunity to focus on the additional subjects, they will most likely be able to narrow down their interests by experiencing the different fields of other subjects. In the world seen today, there are people who love their jobs but also many people who do not enjoy what they do. Imagine a world full of Einstein's, those who found what they love and continued to improve on what they do by their self-motivation, imagine the new innovations and creations people today could have already had. In order for people to live in a better and more successful generation, people should pursue a job they love. A job someone loves is a job worth doing and it gives them more motivation to continue to do what they love which leads to a more productive world. No one wants to be stuck doing something they do not love, so getting rid of standardized tests will allow the students to have more freedom to explore the variety of other choices in order to find interests and pursue a career through that field.

Texas uses standardized tests to evaluate progression of schools, and identify strengths and weaknesses between the different schools. Students can hurt more than benefit from standardized tests, so the progress is actually impaired. Many people have anxiety or are just generally terrible at test taking so the results do not show their true potential. Their results do not fully reflect their intelligence. If information is limited and focused on only a small number of subjects while degrading other activities and subjects, it could lead to worse results due to lack of motivation. Finland, one of the world's top performers in education, takes the opposite road from America with almost no standardized tests. They use assessments as a tool for development and not for accountability which is less stressful for their students than the students in America. It gives their students more time to relax and focus on a variety of subjects rather than just two. Many students use the opportunity of other subjects and activities to relax and do something they enjoy and let them have a free spirit, but taking that away will only frustrate the students, causing them not to try and not be able to reach their full potential.

Other subjects such as history, civics, music, and art help critical thinking skills. Music works the right side of the brain, benefiting them both creatively and academically. Studies have shown that people who engage in activities such as playing an instrument or working different parts of their brain, tend to be smarter and have better critical thinking skills. Without the early development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, students will have a harder time "thinking outside the box" and be free to other activities that could benefit the core subjects. With the time for extracurriculars and the focus on other subjects or fields, it would help students perform better and also help the schools climb up in rankings because it would give students more time to release stress and they will have a clear mind to focus on the many assignments given to them.

Instead of using standardized tests to determine where a school stands compared to other schools, Texas should get rid of standardized testing to prevent stress and a lack of motivation and think about what stress can do to the human body and what a large number of stressed, unmotivated students will lead to. Students should have the opportunity to explore different options and develop multiple interests to help themselves for the real world. Getting rid of standardized testing can help students perform better and reach their full potential and find what they love thus leading to a better generation.

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13 Things All Nursing Majors Know Really Well, Besides The Inside Of Their Eyelids

Ah yes, multiple night shifts, in a row. Splendid.

College. The true test of how well you're able to balance sleep, school, and a social life all at once. Each student knows this struggle all too well, but nursing students are forced to take this juggling act to the extreme. Between early morning clinicals, studying, homework, PrepUs, and care plans there is barely any time left to have a social life, or let alone sleep. To prove the struggle, here are 13 things that all nursing majors know too well.

1. How all the professors acted during your first week of nursing school

2. When your clinical instructor makes you arrive at 6 a.m. sharp every week and stay until 4 p.m.

3. When your professors schedule two tests in the same week along with 25 PrepU quizzes

4. When your test answer was correct but not the MOST correct

5. When you go home for break and your family members ask you how nursing school is going

6. When you somehow find time to go out but don't know how to dress in something other than scrubs

7. When your patient presses the call light for the 100th time in the last 10 minutes

8. When your clinical instructor lets you pass meds and start an IV all in the same day

9. How you feel when your patient says, "You're going to be a great nurse someday!"

10. When your friends get upset that you can never hang out with them anymore

11. When you argue with your professor on a test question and earn the whole class points back

12. How you felt after you successfully gave your first shot to a patient

13. And when you realize that one day all of this stress and hard work will finally pay off and you will have the job of your dreams!

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English Majors Should Be Assigned All Types Of Literature

It's time for a change.


As you can probably guess, being an English major requires A LOT of reading. In my college career, I have read everything from Beowulf to Shakespeare. And some of the readings I do are definitely better than others.

In order for college students to be engaged and love what they read about, the book absolutely has to be interesting in some kind of way. Novels that are interesting to read don't necessarily have to be enjoyable. In fact, I really enjoy reading things that offer a new perspective from what I am used to.

If I have to read, comprehend, and get graded on a book, it makes my life so much easier if the content is enjoyable.

Some of my least favorite things I have been assigned to read from my classes are older works that are regarded as standard "literature." The word "literature" is so ambiguous; what is literature? What is not?

My least enjoyable classes with assigned readings are classes like British Literature and American Literature. I understand the importance of these classes, but I can't seem to find that type of literature enjoyable.

I think the main reason why this literature doesn't stick with me is that it's too predictable. These books have a certain kind of structure that is found all throughout the time period in which it was written. All of the written work from that particular time kind of runs together in my head. None of it holds my interest for very long.

On the other hand, some of the most interesting things I have read from my classes seem to come from my nonliterary classes. I took a Women's Studies class a few semesters ago and we read a studied about modern women who wrote about their experiences. Each and every one of these stories was unique, thought-provoking, and offered new perspectives.

One of my favorite books I read in this class was the memoir "Fun Home." Not only did this book discuss important issues, but it was also displayed and formatted in the form of a graphic novel. The pages had panels separating two different instances on the page. This novel kept me engaged from start to finish.

I understand the reason why we as English majors are always assigned so-called "classics." But it is just as important that we read about and discuss writers who are currently creating literature about the times and experiences that relate directly to today's society.

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