Standardized testing is not good for public school systems


Victoria Hoppe, Guest Writer

Since I started the 1st grade, I was told that I have to do standardized testing which would put my eyes in front of a computer in my school’s computer lab. At the time, I was a young 6 year old who was told to answer a series of questions like I was a lab rat. Of course, the questions were supposed to be easy like 1+1, but it was still a test on how smart or dumb I was. At first it did not give me too much stress, but as I continued to take more standardized tests throughout my years in school, it became more nerve racking. 

In elementary school, I started taking what are called NWEA tests which are tests for reading/writing, science, and math. These three tests were usually taken three times a year and made to show the growth or decline throughout the school year.

 Studies from the “Washington Post” show that “the average student in America’s big-city public schools takes some 112 mandatory standardized tests between pre-kindergarten and the end of 12th grade which is an average of about eight a year.”

Approximately, 24 hours is spent taking standardized tests at many schools in the U.S from an article on “Washington Post.” These tests take a lot of time in the school year and they hardly test on everything that the student has learned. Some students are tested on whether they can answer a question that doesn’t even relate to the specific things they were taught in classes. 

Growing up these tests became longer and more difficult for me. At the end of the time consuming tests, it gives you a score which shows a student if they did well or not. NWEA testing for me as a kid was traumatic because I felt very insecure when I got a lower score than the rest of my classmates. I didn’t want to be called dumb, so it made me sad that I didn’t do as well as my friends. This gave me test anxiety and lots of stress because I didn’t want to get a bad score on my test.  

Students in a 2009 study from reported, “third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in Michigan,  students reported being significantly more anxious when taking statewide assessments compared to other classroom tests. 

Children in elementary school are experiencing high levels of stress in standardized testing that gives them test anxiety and issues with the ability to focus while taking a test. I personally have experienced hardships while taking standardized testing, and it will affect me throughout my education now. 

Standardized tests also change how teachers will teach the material for schools because many teachers will “teach for a test.” A teacher’s job is primarily teaching the students the material so they are prepared to get a good score on the tests. If a teacher does not get good test scores from their students, they are at risk of getting fired. This causes a lot of stress for students trying to get a good score and the teachers hoping they taught the students enough to get a good score. 

Many high school students feel a lot of pressure because the SAT, or any other high school standardized test, could greatly determine what college they’re able to get into. These tests represent how smart a student is by how they take a test which is not fair to all students. 

Many people believe that the standardized tests will give students direction and how they are able to improve on their skills and a good evaluation on how the student is doing in school. On the other hand, many students are not fully evaluated on their work from a multiple choice question test. Also, there are other tools that can be used to help a student go in the right direction and improve on their learning skills. 

In America the school system is ranked 27th in the world because the Department of Education needs to change the way K-12 students are assessed in America. Students and teachers are in a great deal of stress and anxiety because of standardized testing and the disadvantages it has.