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Is Standardized Testing Really That Important?

Teressa Leffall, Staff Writer

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The importance of standardized testing in schools around the U.S. is quite immense. Everything that a student learns throughout the year is supposed to be demonstrated on the test. Students and teachers spend their whole year reviewing material that might be on the test rather than on what a student really needs to know.

Standardized testing is viewed as more important than it should be and schools shouldn’t focus on it as much as they do.  Teachers shouldn’t be inclined to only teach to the test and students shouldn’t be stressed over taking it.

The problems with standardized testing roots from many different areas, one of which is being that it evaluates a student’s performance on one particular day and does not take into account external factors. There are many people who are not test takers. In most cases, these students are smart and understand the content, but their anxiety won’t allow it to show on a test.

Standardized testing also causes many teachers to only teach to the test. Teaching to the test means that teachers only focus on materials that are going to be on the test, even if they think it isn’t important that it be learned. Teaching to the test can result in lowering a student’s overall learning potential and taking away the ability for teachers to be creative in the classroom. There are many different ways to teach a student, but teachers are very limited because of all the material they need to cover. Teaching to the test also has teachers neglecting to teach students skills that go beyond the classroom.

Some people can argue that standardized testing is important in classifying students, diagnosing learning disabilities and handicaps, and deciding whether or not to promote students. However, no test is good enough to be the basis for any of these important educational decisions. There are better methods to evaluate a student’s progress, such as the documentation of student progress by teachers.

Standardized testing shouldn’t be the only thing that students are prepared for during their school years. There are many other things that should be focused on throughout the year. Standardized tests take main priority in many schools when there’s just more important ideas that should be taught.

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The School Newspaper of Mansfield Summit High School.
Is Standardized Testing Really That Important?