Dear Future President,
I know you have a lot of on your plate since you just became the President of the United States. There’s probably more important things to worry about like ISIS but this is important to the future generations of our country. From the age we have hit 5 years old we have gone to school, spending seven hours in a building using our brains to help us get an education. Taking mid-terms, finals, SATs, ACTS, AIR tests, and everyday testing are just a few tests we take on average, but when is enough enough?
Students want to have a childhood, they don’t want to sit in a school building taking tests. “‘Kids spend too much class time taking standardized tests,’ President Barack Obama said on October 24. According to a new report, “students spend 20 to 25 hours each school year taking these tests”(A Call). Kids are spending a whole day staring at a computer or paper bubbling in answers that they won’t even remember the next day. Kids aren’t learning anything from these tests either, we could learn so much more by being taught not being thrown out on a limb. Not only do students take standardized tests, they also take normal tests in everyday classes. Students take 112 standardized tests from preschool to 12th grade and that is not even counting everyday tests. Why do kids even take tests that do not even count?
The standardized tests students do take don’t even show what they really know. The article, Standardized Testing, says, “They fail to measure such important attributes such as creativity and critical thinking skills” (Harris). Every time I take a big test, I get all stressed out over nothing. They don’t count for anything, they don’t show who you are or what you are capable of. All our teachers do is prepare us for the test and not life skills. When we step out into the big world, we don’t even know how to do the little things in life such as paying bills. Schools should start teaching us the things that we actually use later in life and not useless things.
Why are we keeping something that is doing us no good? We are putting so much stress on the future generations and it isn’t going to do us any good. According to Stanford School of Medicine, “One recent study indicates that the number of children, age 7-17, treated for depression more than doubled between 1995-2001”(Wilde). So many children are getting treated for depression because of stress and the leading cause is school. “Fully 83 percent of teens said that school was “a somewhat or significant source of stress.”Twenty-seven percent reported “extreme stress” during the school year, though that number fell to 13 percent during summer.” I never really did good on standardized tests but I was a great student and I got all A’s.There was only two of us left and I could feel the time dwindling down to the very last second. I couldn’t figure out the problems I had left and she told us that our time was up. I felt like I failed the test and started crying. I can remember being so nervous and stressed out before taking the test even though they give you the speech makes it even worse. Stress is a six letter word that can do a lot of damage.
Why are we spending so much money on testing when we should be spending it on something that matters. According to the Education of the Week article, “We spend over 1.7 billion dollars on standardized testing” (Ujifusa). That is $65 per student on average. Now imagine every child in the United States then it all adds up. We could be spending all that money on more important things such as cancer research, giving it to homeless people, animals in need, or field trips for hands on learning. I understand that education is important but these tests are useless and kids might not be learning anything at all.
Think of all the people we could save from cancer with that 1.7 billion dollars but instead it is being wasted. The tests do not even mean anything, they do not count, they do not show what you are capable of, and they do not show your creativity. What is the point of keeping something that is doing more harm than good?I believe that we can make a difference for our country.
Works Cited Page
“A Call for Less Testing.” Time for Kids (Grades 3-4), vol. 6, no. 8, 6 Nov. 2015, p. 2. Middle Search Plus, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&an=112313334&site=eds-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.
Harris, Phillip et al. “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement.” The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don't Tell You What You Think They Do, Edited by Dedria Bryfonski, 2011, pp. 33–45, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&dviselectedpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010478218&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=4d81e8d8cb7cdb2cc1476da68ac2edc0.
Hobbs, Tawnell D. “Student Testing Foes Shift Gears After Law Change.” Wall Street Journal, 1 Oct. 2016, p. A.2. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.
Layton, Lyndsey. “Study Says Standardized Testing Is Overwhelming Nation's Public Schools.” Washington Post, The Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-says-standardized-testing-is-overwhelming-nations-public-schools/2015/10/24/8a22092c-79ae-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html.
Ujifusa, Andrew. “Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion a Year, Study Says.” Education Week, 11 May 2016, www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/29/13testcosts.h32.html.
Wilde, Marian. “Are We Stressing out Our Kids? | Parenting.” Parenting, Great Schools, 11 Mar. 2016, www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/stressed-out-kids/.
Sharpiro, Margaret. “Stressed-out Teens, with School a Main Cause.” Washington Post, The Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/stressed-out-teens-with-school-a-main-cause/2014/02/14/d3b8ab56-9425-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html.