Dear future President of the United States,
Imagine a world where standardized testing doesn’t exist. Envision a place where children didn’t lose sleep or vomit from anxiety and stress. Create an image in your head where people had a fair chance of showing what they know based off of multiple assignments and not just one test. Do you really want kids to suffer and get bogged down by standardized testing? Your policies should reduce the stress of kids, permit them to move on despite one test score, and allow English language learners to have a fair chance to show what they know as well.
Many students stress the night before important standardized tests. Examples have been crying, throwing up, and having a great amount of anxiety. Many people feel like students stress too much over standardized tests. This can lead to many serious issues, such as suicide and mental health problems. “Although South Korea is ranked as the best education system in the country, the country also has a very high suicide rate. These standardized tests put immense pressure on students.” (B. Cheyann) As standards rise for standardized tests, suicide rates and cases of mental health problems will only increase as years pass. Do you really want innocent children to lose their lives due to stress from standardized testing? If we don’t address this problem, it will only get worse.
Students from all over the world are deprived of the opportunity to move on in school due to one test score. Although standardized testing is important to show what the students know, it may not always be the student’s fault. “Essentially, the teachers are working on preparing kids without really knowing what's going to be assessed....” (Ujifusa) Even though teachers are supposed to be preparing kids for the test, they may not cover everything on there. This could be the difference between a kid moving on to the next grade level, or staying behind for another year. Some tests are harder or easier than others. Therefore, it is not an accurate measure of a student’s knowledge. Some students may be intelligent, more critical thinkers, yet they may not be able to express their ideas due to being held back because of one test score. This is not a valid way to measure an entire child,” said Jensen, a former teacher with two children in high school. “None of this has anything to do with better education." (White House) Do you really want to forbid students from moving on and expressing their great ideas?
Some students come from other countries, and English is not their first language. Because of this, you would expect them to take another type of standardized test, right? No, that is not what happens. English language learners are forced to take the same test as other people who speak fluent English. This is unfair for English language learners because they don’t understand the language as well, which leads to lower test scores for them despite being at a disadvantage. “In both elementary grades and middle school grades in these states, ELL students are much less likely than white students to score at or above the proficient level in mathematics. The measured gaps are in the double-digits. For example, in Florida 45% of ELL third-graders scored at or above the proficient level on the math assessment, compared with 78% of white third-graders, yielding a white-to-ELL gap of 34 percentage points.” (Fry) If we don’t change standardized testing, students of all ages who are English language learners will forever be deprived of the chance to truly show what they know and not what a test expects them to know.
In conclusion, I believe that standardized testing should not affect whether a student is promoted. A child’s progress in school should be based off of multiple assignments throughout the year, and not one test. Kids would be less stressed, have a fair chance to move on, and English language learners will also have a fair opportunity to show what they know. If standardized testing is eliminated, there will be many benefits to our society as a whole.
B., Cheyann. "Is Standardized Testing Truly Effective?" By Cheyann B. N.p., 26 Oct. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
Ujifusa, Andrew. "New Tests Put States on the Spot." Sirs Knowledge Source. N.p., 6 June 2012. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
"White House Tells States to Give Students Fewer Tests." Newsela. N.p., 5 Feb. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
Fry, Richard. "The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap." Pew Research Centers Hispanic Trends Project RSS. N.p., 26 June 2008. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.