John California

Change The Standard

Standardized testing does not accurately measure a student's potential and capabilities.

Dear Next President,

Standardized testing has been used across the nation throughout history. Every student takes the same test, and is graded the same way. This method shows how much the the student knows, to a certain extent. Although this method seems to be an accurate way to measure a student’s intellectual abilities, there are many issues regarding the method.

Standardized testing may be an effective way of measuring student progress in certain areas, though it can only measure so much about a student. Some students are better at certain areas than others, while some students may be worse at certain areas than others. The tests do not necessarily show a student’s intellectual skill, nor can it address all of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Standardized testing should continue to be used to assess students and gather information about their progress and help guide educational improvements, but it should not be the largest factor in determining the adequacy of schools and teachers or be used as a major deciding factor in admitting students to colleges.

At the age of 10, my family and I moved to the United States. Not knowing any English, I struggled in my classes. This naturally put me behind in my academics compared to my classmates. Nevertheless, I tightened my jaws and went on, knowing that I would not be able to survive in this foreign world if I did not try twice as hard as others. Looking back, I am proud of what I have accomplished, from an immigrant knowing nothing about English, to being one of the top students at my school. Being an immigrant made it exceptionally harder for me to do well in standardized tests, as it was designed for an American-born student, who has spoken only English since birth. To many immigrants in America and many other students like me, standardized testing is an unfair judgement of a student’s intellectual abilities. There should either be another way to measure a student’s capabilities, or a way to evaluate a student for their strengths; standardized testing should not be the biggest factor in evaluating a student’s intellectual capabilities, nor should it be a major deciding factor in college admissions.

The current implementation of standardized testing in the United States education system is riddled with flaws. Now, it is all on you, dear next president: if we want our students to be successful learners and members of society, there needs to be changes in the system.