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Standardized Tests Suck

Standardized testing does not work!  Throughout the United States standardized testing is a practice used for many purposes to indentify the levels of knowledge and gratification based on results.  Why should schools use general standardized practices? To evaluate how well they are teaching the students? To qualify for government grants and aids which give the schools more money? To ensure the parents that the kids are getting the proper education?  All of these questions need to be evaluated and assessed.  The government and state believe that standardized testing is a must to evaluate how well the school systems are doing to educate students.

As an adult who has kids, Standardized testing might sound like a great idea to ensure that their kids are receiving the proper education to succeed in life.  The only positive that can come from a standardized test would identify if students have a basic knowledge of certain subjects like math, reading comprehension, and sciences.   But in reality, standardized testing can prevent kids from learning important information that could make them successful in college or in a professional setting.  From the seventh grade, teachers preached about the OGT (Ohio Graduation Test).  The OGT is given to sophomores in high school to evaluate if they qualified to graduate.  Teachers would obsess over the OGT, and the material covered in it.  Many teachers talked the OGT up to being one of the most important tests that we would encounter in our life.  They made it as if you didn’t pass the OGT society wouldn’t accept you, and neither would your friends or peers.  The teachers really put fear into the students about passing the OGT, and making the school look good, as well as themselves.  As a freshman in high school much of the learning was out of booklets containing information that would be on the OGT.  Every subject on the test had its own booklet covering basics about the subjects.  Entire classes were devoted to working out of the booklets that contained repetitive information that was memorized rather than learned.  Teachers would frantically pound this information into the heads of students nonstop.  As test time grew near you could see how psychotic some of the teachers were.  This is where teacher evaluation should come into the argument, but that is another topic for discussion.   During test taking week sophomores were given breakfasts fit for a king, all other students were told to come in after 9 o’clock to keep silence among the halls.  With all the effort among the teachers and school system to ensure good scores one might believe the test to be very hard.  But in fact the tests that were given were actually very easy, many of the questions were pathetic requiring little common sense.  I believe many middle school students could achieve proficient scores on the OGT.  So why would a school system go through all the trouble and unnecessary steps to achieve astounding results?  All the school district cares about is getting good scores to ensure they are doing their job correctly, ensure the teachers job security,  and most of all to receive government funding for being  a proficient school.

After the sophomore year, learning new and useful material was rather unheard of.  Teachers let the students slack off, and focused again on their freshmen students for testing purposes.   My high school didn’t prepare me at all for college, and I’m sure many people will agree to this.  So what is the point of high school then? If it can’t prepare you for the next level what will?  Standardized tests are a waste of time, and deprive students from learning helpful material.  Tests can also be misread resulting in flawed scores like New York students several years back.

Standardized tests need to be a thing of the past.  They shouldn’t judge if a person is proficient through material an eighth grader can do.  The government shouldn’t fund schools more for having better test score or deprive schools of money for having low scores.   It just doesn’t make sense to take money away from a school that has low test scores.  If anything they should receive more money for educational purposes.  Standardized tests don’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, because there isn’t any clear alternative to know whether a school is doing their job correctly.  Schools should mainly focus on teaching material that would prepare students to be successful at the next level.  So for my final overall opinion, standardized tests do not work and prevent students from learning.

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Categories: Standardized Testing
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