Olivia P. Virginia

Standardized testing

Standardized testing in the school system

Dear President,

I understand that running a country must be very difficult and that you can't possibly fix everything that's wrong with America, and I respect that. So, I understand if you take no action in handling the issue I am about to present. I also understand that chances are you will never even see this letter, but it's worth a try.

I am an 11th grader at a high school in Virginia. I take school very seriously and am highly motivated to go to a good college. Some subjects in school come easily to me and others, such a math, not so much. One problem among many that I see in today's education system, is that working hard can not always get you the results that you want or need. I can spend hours studying for a test and still not do well, because for me testing is extremely difficult, as I know it is for many other students.

Today's education is all about how you do on the test. All through high school we learn just to pass the SOL’s; and then to get into college you have to take standardized test such as the SAT’s or the ACT’s. For some students this is a measure of their ability and knowledge; but for others it is an unfair test that is unable to show what students truly have to offer a college, the community, or even the country. High school teachers should be trained to teach for the real world, not just for the standardized test; more colleges should evaluate students based on things other than standardized tests and more like character, ability and talents.

Testing is an easy way for teachers to mark the progress of students but research shows that although it seems like a simple way to motivate and test the ability of students that it has not necessarily been beneficial to our country. According to ProCon.org, the “No Child Left Behind Act”, and the increase in standardized testing led to the U.S going from 18th in the world in math to 31st; science dropped as well and there was almost no change in reading.

Another problem presented by standardized testing, is the unfairness to non native English speakers as well as students with disabilities. These children have to take the same tests as students who have an absolute grasp of the English language and who are not inhibited by any learning disabilities. Ideally, each student should be able to be evaluated on their cognitive strengths in personal ways created to display their individuality and abilities that each student possesses.

My opinion on this topic is clear, but that does not mean there is no benefit to standardized testing. In fact, China has an extremely long history of standardized testing and are currently leading the world in education. However, these children are faced with a great deal of pressure to do well on these test which are often difficult and time consuming. The high pressure placed on students to achieve high scores leads to students feeling the need to cheat in order to achieve what is expected of them by teachers and parents. Not only do students feel this pressure, but teachers are also pressured to have their students do well on these test; which leads to the altering and unfair curving of grades. According to “Cheating Statistics”, 80% of high achieving high school students cheat and according to “FindLaw”, 178 teachers in the state of Georgia alone admitted to changing answers for students on standardized test. Other investigations have implied that this is a problem in almost every state. The pressure and environment created from these kinds of test is not something that students of the U.S. should be exposed to. I believe that the United States, being the great country it is, is capable of doing better things within the school systems.

Although our country is not perfect and I among all other citizens have many complaints about America I am still proud to call this place my home. I am grateful that each and every child is able to get an education and that we are lucky enough to have access to any knowledge that we may need. So, thank you for your dedication and love of our country and I wish you the best.



Works Cited

ProCon.org. "Standardized Tests ProCon.org." ProCon.org. 31 Aug. 2016, 11:52 a.m., standardizedtests.procon.org/


“The case against standardized testing” Harvard political Review. May 14th 2015. Online. 30th of october 2016.


“Cheating Statistics”. Educational innovations. Online. 30th of October 2016.


“Teacher cheating and standardized testing”. FindLaw. Online. 2016. 30th of October 2016.


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