Letter to the President
America is one of the major powers in the world today, which makes me think, shouldn’t our academics be competing with the other best countries today? The problem I see is that America is lacking compared to other countries in the department of academics; I feel this is partly due to the use of standardized tests. Although many people like the idea of standardized testing I want to explain why it is still more hassle than it is worth.
According to Connectusfund.org, teachers have been teaching the test, which in other words means they have been teaching what is expected to be on the test and not what the curriculum has in store for the students. This is a major problem because kids aren’t learning things based on classroom and community needs, but are learning what they will need to pass the test.
Standardized tests also lead to teachers and students stressing out over trying to do well on the test. Schools try hard to get good grades on standardized tests, because they can receive more government funds; this causes teachers to stress out, and can even make them commit crimes such as cheating on standardized tests according to The National Association of School Psychologists. If teachers are so scared about bad scores on these tests then there is something wrong with them, or at least how we have designed them. This also hurts students badly because they feel the pressure of having to pass the test which makes them have anxiety about getting a good grade on their test. And I know that this is true, because in elementary I had a teacher who made these tests sound as if we failed them, then we would fail our grade. This actually made me scared to take SOL tests, as we call them in Virginia, I would even complain to my parents how I was scared that I might not pass this test. Luckily my parents told me how they just make a big deal out of them to get more government funding, but other kids may not have been told that and would stress over these pointless tests for no reason.
Although standardized tests have many cons they do have a few pros, one that I would like to point out President is that they can track a student's progress throughout their academic career. This is great that we can do this, but really there are better and more accurate ways to accomplish this according to FairTest.org. They explain how studies have shown that students work that is regularly judged by evaluators provides more useful information to help students and their teachers and can help stop the problem of teaching the test. This suggests how we can fix standardized testing by finding the pros of it and either changing the test to adapt to make them more useful and less stressful, or coming up with new effective ways to use the pros of standardized tests and just get rid of the test all together. But it is not up to me to change the No Child Left Behind Act, that is between you and congress. Just think for the better of this country. Does standardized testing really solve the issues of the academic gap in America, and are there better more accurate ways of tracking the progress of the students of America? I just hope you make the right decision President, for the betterment of America’s students.
Sincerely, concerned Student
Works Cited Page
By Default, If the Menu Opens on the Right, We, Margie, and S. Forsyth. "A Look at the Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing." Bright Hub Education. Bright Hub Education, 18 June 2015. Web. 25 Oct, 2016.
Connectusfund.org. “10 Bid Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardized Testing.” ConnectUS. ConnectUS.org 24 June 2015. Web. 17 Oct, 2016.
FairTest. "How Standardized Testing Damages Education (Updated July 2012)." The National Center for Fair & Open Testing. FairTest, 28 Aug. 2007. Web. 25 Oct, 2016.
Pearson, Amy. "Disadvantages of High Stakes Testing in Elementary Schools." Our Everyday Life. StudioD, 2016. Web. 25 Oct, 2016.