Standardized Testing


Every year, kids across the country take part in a standardized test designed to challenge them and have them apply what they’ve learned. In Texas, the standardized test is referred to as the STAAR test, which stands for The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. From primary school up until High School, students prepared throughout the year so that hopefully, they can pass this series of tests, each for a different subject.

A majority of all the people asked seemed to agree that standardized testing is redundant, but before looking into that, there’s something that needs to be understood: Why are there standardized tests?

Well, according to the Every Student Succeeds Act, each state is required to perform student standardized testing as a condition for receiving federal funds. They must have state-wide testing in the academic fields of math and ELA from third to eighth grade, and at least once during their ninth to twelfth-grade years. A science test must be taken three times, once during third to fifth grade, once during sixth through ninth, and one final during tenth through twelfth.

Many believe that these tests display how well a student can understand and apply what they’ve learned, but just as many say otherwise.

“I don’t really think it’s beneficial to the students.” Said High School student Noëlle Van Hove. “But at the same time, it is a way to measure what we learn throughout the year, but it doesn’t take everything into account.”

I’ve had numerous others say that although it is a way to get accurate statistics, there are always factors that may affect student scores.

Many students struggle with testing anxiety, or just don’t do well in general. Even things such as hunger, impatience, nervousness, and exhaustion can directly affect how well a student may perform.

Another argument is that teachers focus more on what the test will ask instead of what the students should know. The entire school year for most classes is based on the test at the end of the year, and never really strays away from that. Many things learned in a classroom are redundant and impractical. Instead of teaching students how to do taxes, they’re taught to find the circumference of a sphere, and while that may come in handy at some point, it isn’t something that can always be applied.

Even teachers can agree that standardized testing isn’t the best way to prioritize lessons.

Teachers have a tendency to tell their students that what they’re learning isn’t useless, that one day it will come in handy, but how true is that claim?

“Many of the things I learned in school I forgot. Of course, there are some things you need, like basic algebra and grammar skills learned in English, but I’ve never once needed to use the Pythagorean theorem since high school.” Said Jet Gil-Robert, a graduated High School student.

Of course, there are different ideas and perspectives concerning Standardized tests, but it’s no secret that many feel it’s pointless. It’s hard to measure a child’s intelligence based off a test while ignoring other factors that may come to play.