Editorial: This is an opinion piece. All opinions are of the author and may or may not be shared by the Cougar Chronicle staff.
State testing, most students dread the long hours spent each day that they have to take multiple tests for three weeks. Although there are some/few benefits of standardized tests, there are many more downfalls to weigh down the benefits.
One of many reasons state testing is hurting students as well as teachers is because teachers have to “teach the test” instead of teaching the students more important things they will need to know later. Teachers instead, just try to cram everything in. Students will not benefit from doing this, and most teachers probably do not enjoy it either.
State testing uses test scores to reward or punish teachers for the students’ grades. This could cause teachers to cheat for their own gain or teachers may be punished because students may not remember exactly what they learned from the beginning of the year since the test is in May. According to USA Today, 178 Atlanta public school teachers and administrators from 44 schools were found to be cheating on standardized tests according to a state report.
State testing is not only risky because teachers are counting on the students to do well, but it is also very stressful for students. Students stress themselves out over this one big test and sometimes it results in crying, vomiting, or both. The Sacramento Bee reported that “Test-related jitters, especially among young students, are so common that the exam comes with instructions in case a student vomits.” Also, students are pressured by their parents and teachers to do well, they always get their test back in the summer and are told that it places them in their classes for the following year.
State testing is only tested in math and English and for 8th graders science as well. But, schools have reduced the time spent in the arts, social studies, PE, or science because they want students to be prepared for testing. A study by the Study of Education Policy reported that 44% of school districts extended math and English while cutting other classes as preparation.
If these tests are so difficult for people who have normal health and are fluent in English, how do the students with disabilities or students whose second language is cope? Kids with disabilities or students who don’t speak English well have to take the exact same test as everyone else. This is completely unfair because they are not as capable as others and it still counts as the same score and placing.
The standardized test is used to see what students know, but many factors can affect a student’s performance on the test. As an example, the student could have test anxiety, cultural factors, illness, and many more things that affect their testing. This one test shows the state what students know, but 50-80 percent of students score differently on the state test than their average scores on tests.
State testing can be harmful to students and teachers. The downfalls overweigh the benefits of it. For these reasons, I believe there should not be state testing.