These Standards Are Subpar
It’s scary to see how schools are viewing students these days. Before high school, kids used to be kids. Kids used to be people with names, talents, thoughts and creativity. Now, kids are just numbers.
This is all because of standardized testing. Parents and teachers have relied heavily on this form of evaluation without thinking about its detrimental effects and problems. Standardized testing is defined as testing usually in the form of multiple-choice questions that assess a large group of students. It creates what the U.S., which is most dependent on these tests, thinks is a “reasonable” mean of comparison.
This is not true. Standardized testing leads to unhappy and overly stressed students and teachers and inappropriate learning motives while neglecting other [measurements] of intelligence.
For example, FairTest, which is The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, proved that an education focused on standardized testing makes students who perform poorly on them feel worthless. As a result, many of these students lose all motivation and stop caring about school altogether. Several teachers as well have admitted that these tests have forced them to lose their passion and true goals of teaching, causing them to only care about raising the class average.
Students are also forgetting about the significance and pure beauty of the learning process and material because of the score that seems to be the only important trophy for their accomplishments. As a result, more students are inclined to cheat [to acquire] the perfect grade.
Even a study by Dr. Gerald W. Bracey proved that standardized testing does not account for important things like creativity, critical thinking, honesty, self-discipline and a love of learning among others.
Is this what we want our kids to learn? That one’s personality, drive or creativity has no importance? That students should be complacent with a test that claims to do its best?
Why can’t we strive for better tests? [Is there anything] wrong [with dedicating] extra money and people to make our tests a bit more subjective and a bit more fair to different people and different students?
In fact, there is nothing wrong with this. We must begin to value the aspects of people that cannot be quantified by the numbers that seem to define them.
Society’s ideas of worth and intelligence start with us. We have the power to begin changing the status quo about standardized testing. We must stop idolizing results, and start looking at people from the inside – because we are all more than numbers.
Editor’s note: Angela is a senior at Crescenta Valley High School.