The Problem with Testing

The negative effects that tests have on education

What is the Problem?

The problem with standardized testing is pretty self explanatory, it is standardized. What does this mean? This means that students are being evaluated all at a same level, which makes no sense because some students may be the brightest in the class but they can potentially bomb a test. Standardized testing unfairly evaluates students, jeopardizes everything they have worked for, does not meet the needs of under performing students, and adds massive amounts of stress upon them.

The Effects on students

Standardized testing give students an unfair evaluation, does not build them up educationally and causes students to stress out. First of all, nobody is the same so why should students be treated as if they are? Does everyone progress at the same rate? Does everyone learn in the same way? Definitely not! So why is is that students are denied the chance to show what they really know and how smart they are in their own way? Students are tested for one day and their scores determine everything about them, regardless of what they mastered in the whole school year. Secondly, standardized testing does not build up the weak areas that students struggle in, instead standardized tests test students in all areas regardless of their mastery in it or not. In addition to that standardized test scores do not come back until months later, leaving the student with no knowledge of what he/she did wrong. Lastly standardized tests can mount up huge amounts of stress on students which can make students forget how to use their skills and knowledge, potentially leading them to failure. As a matter of fact, in California the state standardized tests have come with instructions on what to do if a student barfs on a test!

The solution

Instead of endlessly debating on whether or not to completely eliminate standardized tests, why not just modify their use? Based on my research and resources, I have come to a conclusion of using standardized tests for determining weak areas in students and not used in any way against students. There are various ways that students can be evaluated for their potential, but standardized testing is not one of them. What standardized testing does is narrow the spectrum and give the state a certain point of view on what students are really capable of. Former Finish school principle and teacher, Kari Louhivuori stated, "It's nonsense. We know much more about the children than these tests can tell us".