Student Opinions on Standardized Testing

Aurelia Jones, Reporter

Each student has to take the School City tests. That is a fact. But what do students think about these tests? Do they help or hinder?

Taylorville senior Holly Henderson says, “I think that they are a complete waste of time… it’s really measuring how much the teacher taught you and we get told that they don’t matter… so why are we taking time out of our learning to take tests that don’t really matter?” Henderson points out that even the teachers don’t take the standardized testing seriously. This makes each student doubtful to even put the slightest amount of effort into these tests.

These tests are challenging for many people to take. They do not take into account how each student learns through different teaching techniques. “It doesn’t take into account creativity,” senior Jami Berrett says. Berrett also said that these tests create a mold for who is smart and who is not. She believes that being “book smart” isn’t always the best for everyone. All students have different interests. Some excel in art, English, math, sports, or any number of things. No matter what, each person has something to offer.

Senior Megan McArthur also agrees by saying, “I don’t think that it takes into account that each student has a different way of learning.” She goes on to say that “not every student can just sit at a desk and learn all that our school wants us too.” McArthur continues, “I think that that the testing should not be by district, but customized. Not to every student because that would be impossible, but to every school or every teacher. A more individualized test that goes over the knowledge or the units that you learn.”

Frequently, these tests create nearly impossible goals for every person to succeed in these tests. The No Child Left Behind Act was created fifteen years ago by Pres. George W. Bush. No Child Left Behind stopped the practice of  holding children back for school, even if they are not ready for the next level. Critics of this policy say this isn’t working. It pushes the districts to create mass tests that can’t be individualized to students and their classrooms. These mass tests are less effective, and students are not pleased by the accompanied mental stress.

Henderson says “It makes me really stressed because I know that I’m going to run out of time no matter what, and it also affects my confidence. I mean, of course, I know that standardized testing isn’t everything, but it’s still can get to you…” Many students have a hard time testing. They may be straight-A students, but their tests say otherwise. If you struggle with test anxiety and stress about every score, just know in the long run, these tests do not matter.