Dear Future President,
Did you know that “64 percent of Americans say there is “too much emphasis on testing.” Only 14 percent rated standardized testing as a “very important ” factor in measuring school effectiveness, and 55 percent (66 percent of parents) oppose test scores being used to evaluate teacher performance” (Poll: Americans Want Less Standardized Testing and More School Funding)? That’s more than 50% of our country that thinks standardize tests are not needed. I am a highschool student in the state of Michigan. Here I have to take at least one standardized test a year that make me miss out on information in class. The tests should be changed due to the fact that they do not show what the student actually knows, some schools and teachers are evaluated based on the results, and the tests are not based on what the teacher taught.
Standardized tests don’t show what the student actually knows. Most schools take at least one standardized test per year. Although the teachers must teach certain topics provided by the state, all teachers teach differently. The tests are not based off of what the students have been exactly taught by their teacher. In the article “Let the Teachers that Teach Us Test Us” they say “Not only do current standardized tests poorly reflect good educational values, but they also reflect flawed educational design by failing to test relevant knowledge and skills. For example, if the standard called for students to know how to build a wall, then you could collect evidence that the standard has been met by having a student use their mortar and brick-laying skills and knowledge to build a small brick wall. But standardized tests often only do the equivalent of asking students to recite different types of bricks and recognize famous brick walls. Worse, tests do not measure student interest or effort, which is far more important to student success.” This is saying that the tests only reflect the fact that students can relay facts, not that they can actually apply the information. If the tests were based on how students could apply the facts it would be more beneficial to them. Right now the tests don’t mean anything to students because it’s not teaching them things like how to apply concepts. This is important because because if teachers could write their own tests they could write them to evaluate how the students apply the information like they taught it in class. These tests would mean more to the kids.
Also, the tests are not based on what the teacher has taught, but instead what a company says the students should know. Students spend an entire year in a classroom with one teacher. Doesn't it make sense to have the teachers to make the test and test them? Instead companies make the tests and them make money off of them by selling them to the schools. These companies are dictating what the students need to know and what the teachers are teaching. In the article “Let the Teachers that Teach Us Test Us” they say “We therefore object to standardized tests for public schools being written and controlled by a private company.” A company that has never taught the students or sat in the classroom with them before making the test. These companies have no clue how knowledgeable students are on the topic. Testing this way is unfair and not very productive. I think that teachers should test their own students and also work with the company to create a more fair test.
Finally, some schools and teachers get evaluated based on how high the scores are. Because of this some schools base everything they teach off of the tests. This isn’t setting the students up for success, instead it’s doing more evil than good. In the article “Let the Teachers that Teach Us Test Us” they say “Because teachers and schools are funded and evaluated to varying extents based on the results of tests like PARCC, many teachers teach to the test instead of crafting curricula based on student need, interest, and ability.” This is saying that teachers want their students to get high scores so instead of making a curriculum that would make students more successful. The teachers put the tests score at a higher importance than the students ability a success. I think that the teachers should work with the company to make a helpful test based off of good curriculum.
As you can see the tests are not helpful. Not only are they not run or made by teachers, but they are stressful for students in more than one way. They are a huge part of our future because they can make or break us getting into the collage that would help us. I think that the companies and teachers should work close together to make the tests more successful and better for students to take.