Kate Minnesota

Standardized Testing

Standardized tests do not accurately display students’ knowledge.

Dear Future President,

I feel that standardized tests do not accurately display students’ knowledge. I am dyslexic, and I have a very hard time doing timed standardized tests. Most people agree that standardized tests do not fully measure a student's knowledge on a subject. I would like for standardized testing to be done away with.

Since the repeal of No Child Left Behind and the signing into law of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, we have begun to see less emphasis on standardized testing. But according to the National Education Association students will still be tested in grades 3-8 and then again in high school. Students who struggle with reading and writing such as Dyslexics, like me, and kids with ADHD may find it hard to succeed on these tests. If a student can not meet the requirements of the standardized test they can be labeled as remedial and not given the opportunity to show their full potential. A student who can’t sit still through a test may be labeled a troublemaker. Students who are already struggling in school do not need the added pressure of a standardized test.

Teaching to the tests is impacting teachers, students, and schools because it limits teachers’ creativity and joy in the classrooms, according to author Alfie Kohn. Students don’t become critical thinkers they just memorize and repeat answers.

Finland has some of the highest achieving students and they only have one standardized test they take in order to graduate. According to the Washington Post the test covers a wide range of questions such as, “Media is competing for audiences-what are the consequences?” and “Choose three world religions and compare the role and use of the holy image within them.” These questions show that the Finnish students are being taught more problem solving skills then we are in the United States.

We are becoming a nation of robots that just spit out answers. The creative spark that has been such a huge part of the United States of America is being dampened by uninspired teachers in the classroom that must adhere to a strict curriculum. I would like to see the United States move to what is called “stealth assessment.” Valerie Shute a professor at Florida State University says this will be the way that future students are tested for progress. In our high tech world answers to assignments can be monitored and recorded. This would give a way for teachers to see how their students are understanding a subject. In the future there should be no need for tests. The progress is always monitored.

Please help all of our students succeed without the stress of standardized testing.


Kate Curtis 

St. Paul Central High School

Approaching Analysis - Hours 2 and 3

This is a sophomore honors class at St. Paul Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

All letters from this group →