The Good Aspects Of Standardized Testing In Education
Standardized testing stresses kids out, most people do not test well, they base a test grade higher than your overall grades. It seems to hurt more than it helps. Their use encourages a narrowed curriculum. In our society, students test score are one of the most influential elements in the college admissions procedure. Kids have been pushed and highly encouraged to give as much effort as they can to make the top scores. The tests may be useful for standardizing a group of peoples intellectual ability, but they are not good for determining an individual’s intelligence. Standardized testing is not helping kids in America because, it does not accurately tell how intelligent a child is, a lot of kids do not test well, and they do not measure the ability to think deeply and creatively.
In 2002 President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which was the beginning of standardized testing. This new law meant that states had to perform a reading and math test every single year to kids in third grade all the way to eighth grade. Schools that would not increasingly make progress on the tests every year would be threatened with being punished (Mulholland).
A standardized test is a test where everyone taking it is answering the same questions, or questions that are similar. This is commonly used to determine the intellectual performance of one person. Many people agree that standardized testing is a fair way to test because everyone is taking the same thing, no test is harder than the other. It is seen as a good way to lessen favoritism and bias tests. Standardized testing is used for many things, such as college placement, determining if a child is ready to move on to the next grade, job placement, and psychological tests (Standardized). While it can be a very good thing by helping people understand where another person’s intelligence level is at, it may not be the same as someone else’s.
Kids repeatedly struggle with high stress levels due to the incline in testing in schools, and the demand from colleges. There is a large effect on students’ emotional health due to the anxiety created by testing. As stated in a survey organized by the American Psychological Association, kids and teenagers have reported very high stress levels (Are). There has been a big discussion on whether or not students have been using a prodigal amount of money and time on standardized test, and ignoring the effects that testing too much is having on kids. Though several tests frequently have a direct result for students, they still recognize test as exasperating and crucial to their futures.
Kids know that standardized testing has a massive outcome for themselves, their teachers, and the school as a whole. With all of this stress on a child, how can they be expected to make a perfect score. Students are constantly being pushed to always make a great grade, and to make the school look good, but no one is thinking about how pushing kids like that is having an extremely harmful effect of their mental health. In 2001, some of the nation’s most remarkable psychiatrists said that President Bush and Congress need to “rethink the current rush to make American children take even more standardized tests.”. Alliance for Childhood cited some evidence that “test-related stress is literally making many children sick.” (Press). The more that people push and demand for testing, the more crushing effect that has on kids education. There are several parents, teachers, and students that look at testing as stressful and having a tremendous effect on students mental health. Students spend an extensive amount of time on standardized testing and all of the preparation before they take the exam, which is likely to contribute to the excessive amounts of worry.
There are several components that cause a decrease in test score, stress being one of the main causes. When someone realizes that a test that only lasts a few hours determines their future, it will freak a kid out. When a child does not make a certain score on those tests, they are vulnerable to losing their academic awards, being taken out of honors classes, and even being declined by the college they have always wanted to go to. If a person, whether it be an adult or a child is under extreme amounts of stress you will not be engaged in what you are working on (Ershova). When someone is under stress you are not thinking about anything except all of the negatives, a child can not be expected to perform perfectly on a test that makes them so anxious that they do not have the ability to focus.
Another matter that is regularly talked about is how standardized testing is affecting students’ participation and passion in school and students’ faith in their own skills. Many teachers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that, “Many students in my class feel, that, no matter how hard they try, they will still do poorly on the state-mandated test” (Pedulla).
Teachers have a lot of concerns that the students are having to spend too much time on testing and preparing for the test. The Northwest Evaluation Association found that the number of teachers that think too much time has been spent on testing has decreased since 2011, there are several people who still think the amount of testing is extreme. Fifty-three percent of respondents reported in 2013 that the amount of time that students have spent preparing for and taking assessments is out of proportion (Make). A survey that was organized by the National Education Association reported related outcomes and highlighted that the time-consuming nature of standardized testing contributes to many teachers’ worries about testing. On a NEA survey, several of the teachers said that they felt a large amount of pressure to have better test scores. 72 percent of the surveyors said that they had felt either “moderate” or “extreme” pressure from the school and from the district(Walker).
In 2003, Dianne Campbell, who was the director of testing and accountability in Rockingham County, N.C., was in an interview with the American School Board Journal, and she told them that the administrators have had to throw away twenty test books on their testing day due to kids vomiting on them. If a child is so stressed out that they vomit on a book, there is a definite problem with standardized testing (Toppo).
Testing kids is seen as a way to find information about a certain student, teacher, and even the entire school district, and while that is a great idea it is not how it really goes. Most people think that the results of one test is not an equal evaluation of the child themself. A students grades, class test scores, and GPA are the large factors that should be thought about during the process of evaluating a student. If a teacher is being evaluated on only a child’s exam score, they would also be treated unequal. Teachers need to also be assessed the same way as the student, through their class grades and overall tests they take every week in class. There are so many teachers that teach the students exactly what they need in order to pass the test, but the student could still be unprepared. Teachers are constantly trying to make their instruction time better, but the students performance on the tests is not always going to be perfect and that is something that the teacher and school cannot help with. If a child is unable to learn the material and the school has done almost everything they can to help them, then at some point it is out of their hands, there is only so much a teacher can do to help a student, especially one that does not want to learn.
Standardized testing is unfair to people who are not native to the English language. The rules are that every single child has to take the exact same exam even if they can not fully speak it. Standardized test have no way of compensating for people with different cultures. Every culture has a different way of solving problems in different subjects, and the culture of standardized tests is do it as fast as you can, which is not the best method of working proficiently. If a child had poor English skills, it would show tremendously on their test and they would be portrayed as below average, even though they could actually be a brilliant child. If English is not a kids best or first language, they will already be below everyone else due to the fact that they have not made accommodations for everyone taking the test. There is no way to properly measure a child’s learning capability if they have no way of knowing what the question is asking because of a language barrier in the way (Ershova).
Although, standardized testing is favored and universally used does not mean that it is a credible predictor of how a child will succeed in college. Overtesting teenagers is not in any way implying that they are achieving a higher accomplishment. Standardized testing is not an authentic and accurate way to decide if an individual is ready for a specific college. It would be best to look at that child’s overall year round grades and see how they did on everything, rather than only judging them off of a test only focused on a few topics.
Students are taught to test well at school in today’s society. They are not being taught to know these topics for the knowledge of it and to learn it and keep it in their minds for a long time. They are taught to learn the material needed to know in order to make a good score on a test and then that is it. That is all they needed to know it for, was to pass a test. After testing is over they do not mention those subjects anymore because they are on to the next topic they need to study in order to pass.
Teachers do not consistently bypass stress-inducing language. “Fear appeals” exemplify one illustration. In “The Scare Tactic” David Putwain and Richard Remedios mention that when school teachers communicate with their students about approaching testing, the conversations mostly consist of procedural specifics, they will tell them the time and date of the test, along with messages, “regarding the consequences of examinations, why they might be considered high-stakes, and what the consequences of success and/or failure might be” (p. 504).They present an example of a fear appeal: “If you fail GCSE maths, you will 11 never be able to get a good job or go to college. You need to work hard in order to avoid failure” (p. 504). They often dispute about how these messages evoke students’ thoughts to the consequences of failure as well as the need for students to avoid failing, these messages are known as “fear appeals.”.
Standardized tests are early in the morning, either during the week or on Saturdays. It is already hard enough to wake up in the morning and try to function perfectly, so imagine how hard it would be to take a test early in the morning that will determine your future. Kids could be having a rough home life and be upset the morning of the test and not be able to focus because all they can think about is how their family is broken. One thing that should be fixed or at least taken into consideration is the testing environment, not everyone can focus in the same conditions. The traditional testing room is to be completely silent, no one can make any noise or else everyone will have to stop where they are in the test and start over due to an interruption. That rule right there puts on an unbelievable amount of stress on a child, knowing that if they make a sound they could ruin the testing session for themselves and everyone else.
Another example would be that a child is an extremely nervous test taker, and cannot think about anything because it is so quiet in the testing room and then all they do is panic about how quiet it is, they start to wonder if their stomach is going to make a noise, or if anything their body does will embarrass them because it is that quiet.
In 2015 there was a survey that was taken on internet and phone polling, it shows a breakdown of some responses to questions that some political parties and racial groups had. Most of the people surveyed objected assessing teachers on students test scores, which was advocated by the Obama administration and battled by teachers (Layton). A New York parent was in an HPR interview, she told them that she had seen her son’s school change him from being a kid who never complained about school to a child that absolutely hated it. She said “He would be doing homework, and he would be sobbing, he’d be trying to wipe tears away while trying to finish his homework so he could see the paper. He would constantly talk about how stupid he was.” She created a group about opting their kids out of having to do testing. So far there are tens of thousands of parents around the country that have joined her group, 200,000 of them are in New York. This is one way that people have tried to make an impact, trying to get the government to realize that standardized testing is hurting youth more than helping them (Mulholland).
Schools and politicians should take testing off of the high pedestal and ensure high achievements and success in other ways, such as their grades, and GPA. Standardized testing needs to be lessened by quite a bit, if change does not happen, kids will only continue to be stressed out over tests and continue to do poorly. If testing is reduced then kids will be able to include questions that make them think deeper into it, rather than just multiple choice questions that do not spark creative thinking.
It is evident that there are major efforts that need to be taking place in order to lower the negative effects that standardized tests have on kids mental health. If testing is always used properly, then it can produce information that is very helpful and important, but testing should not make students feel the amount of stress that they are.
Standardized testing has a considerable amount of effects on a child’s mental health and in some cases their physical health as well. There is quite a bit of questioning on how they are learning and teaching. The only people taking part in the standardized tests are students and kids, they are using an enormous amount of time in preparation for the test and remembering everything in order to pass. Standardized testing has obvious effects on a child’s health and it needs to be reconsidered to lessen the amount of testing we give. The effects on students are mixed, there are problems with anxiety attacks, crying, vomiting on their booklets, high stress levels, etc. There should be intentions to chage the way standardized testing is as of right now and attempt to help students with the amount of stress that they have related to testing.
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