by Matthew Lowe and Nicole Woods
It starts out like every school day. Students wake up, get ready, and pop into their classes while simultaneously keeping up a good grade. Somewhere in the day, a test sheet is laid in front of them. From the beginning of the school year, students are trained to face one obstacle, standardized testing. Some study for hours, others don’t care. However, students are beginning to wonder why we take these tests. Even now, parents have the option to opt their children out of standardized testing. But why not have them take state standardized tests? What for? What is the meaning of it all?
Standardized testing has been around since the mid 1800’s. It’s a part of everyday student life. However, opponents of standardized testing believe it’s affecting students negatively. It causes stress and is eating up taxpayer money. Ever since the No Child Left Behind Act, education quality has dropped significantly. Most of the blame falls on low quality teachers. The mandating of annual standardized tests has been enforced since 2002. The United States has been flung back from position 18 to 31 in overall country ranks on education.
Although standardized testing is regarded as a negative effect on education, people are worried about what would replace it. Some recommend to have standardized testing removed altogether, and replace it with regular classes. Some parents believe that students should have a natural interest in learning and not be motivated to study because of testing. Others are willing to take the necessary steps to improve their children’s education and relieve stress and sadness due to school.
Even if this form of testing is helpful to the students of America, there is no doubt that it is not accepted by everyone. Is there a better way of testing, or is it simply the failing curriculum of our schools? What can be done to improve our schools?