Why the way standardized tests are taken should be changed.
Dear Mister or Mrs. President,
My name is Alec , and I am an 8th grade student living in Cleveland, Ohio. Standardized testing has been a part of the U.S curriculum as an attempt measure of intelligence since the 1800’s. Despite only being mandatory since 2002, they have impacted the educational for years. However, the tests are having a clear negative impact on our children and future generations. This is one major issue that really sticks to me and to many others. It is the issue of the stress and anxiety it puts on the students.
Imagine getting a call from the school, saying your child is crying and throwing up because of how stressed out they were from a test they were taking. The high stress of the testing mainly stems from the high volume of questions to be completed with the limited amount of time. As a nine year veteran student, I can say that when you can’t figure out one question, it can lead to a slew of wrong answers. If you're spending time focusing on one questions, you eventually run out of time. When a student sees time running down, they get very nervous. This leads to things like throwing up and full on panic attacks. According to MentalHelath.Net, stress also weakens the immune system, which can lead to problems beyond the classroom. These problems can be easily added to by things as small as a cramped classroom, all the way to mental disabilities.
There are two main ways in which you may solve the problem. The first way is getting rid of them entirely. Some countries like Finland went years without doing any sort of standardized testing, and when they finally did, they ranked first out of any country on the planet(Scholastic.com) It is very clear from this that countries can thrive without any sort of standardized testing. So getting rid of them could do nothing but benefit the U.S. It will allow students to not have to worry about the preparation for the testing, and it will allow the teachers to focus on things outside of preparing for the testing. However, if you cannot accomplish this, then the focus needs to be on how to overcome the problems that stem from the tests. Such as creating a comfortable environment and allowing the students to have more time to take the tests.
The tests need to be limited to a certain amount of people per class so that any student may feel that they can get up and ask a question whenever they want. Adding more time to the test will take stress of the students, and allow them to be able to go back and rethink any questions they weren’t able to answer. It is with my greatest pleasure that I thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope you will put careful consideration into this issue.