Pros and cons of standardized testing

Christine Macke, Staff Writer

In recent years, standardized testing in schools has been heavily debated. Questions such as: is it good for the students, is it bad, should schools keep it, or should they get rid of it, have been frequently asked in education all across the United States.

Sophomore Julie Whapham said, “In short, I think lately there has been too much standardized testing lately. But testing is good in small amounts, however too much is repetitive, leaving less of an effect on the student body.”

Some positive effects of testing are that teachers are able to see where students are doing well and where they are struggling, as well as providing comparisons among groups. For example, one could see how girls and boys compare by looking at their test results.

However, downsides of standardized testing include the fact that it takes away time in which classes could be in session, and testing often takes up an entire week of school. This can make students and teachers alike feel unmotivated and dread testing.

For example, sophomore Hanna Leonard said, “I understand the importance of standardized testing, but I hate the way it’s done now. I wish there was a better way to do it.”

Also, testing places immense pressure on students, who feel like they need to do extremely well to live up to the high expectations set for them, and teachers, who are often given extra pay if their students perform well on the test.

Even the First Lady herself, Michelle Obama, addressed the unnecessary emphasis placed on the process and results of standardized testing. She said, “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”

Overall, reforms of testing will always be necessary to make the tests more accurate examinations of students’ abilities. In addition, after seeing the results of tests over several years, people will be able to determine whether tests are helpful or harmful to education.