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Editorial: Standardized Testing Gets an 'F'

Editorial: Standardized Testing gets an 'F'
Posted on 03/04/2019

By Alina Herazo

With the rapidly modernizing world, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. From planes that look like hotel rooms to refrigerators with tablet screens, the 21st century is overflowing with new inventions.

 It’s obvious that education is the gateway for future generations to continue to find new ways to solve the problems in our society, but when we take a closer look at the requirements of our education specifically in the United States, it’s almost setting us up to fail in our quickly evolving world.

 

Standardized testing is a big part of the issue. They are ineffective which make them a huge waste of time and money. Exams are taken one day out of the school year. This means they lack the credibility to measure a students overall development of the material throughout the year. They’re also not able to test for other important qualities to be successful in today's day and age, like creativity.

 

These exams have not shown growth with student’s success. According to prosandcons.org, since the NCLB act was passed in the early 2000s, the US declined in math and science and remained the same in reading. These assessments aren't helping us.

 

According to NPR, students spend 20-25 hours annually testing. Teacher's spend between 5-25 percent of the school year preparing for the test. States spent 1.7 billion dollars on testing in 2012. These statistics show what we're all aware of but refuse to change: that standardized testing is an inefficient means of determining student achievement and aptitude.

 

 The global economy will only continue to become more and more competitive. If future generations of American's are not given adequate education, the U.S will not have a fighting chance in the global market. Standardized testing is becoming a burden on expanding our knowledge which our country depends on.

 

A solution to this dilemma would be to have game based assessments. Games allow for the continuation of learning without having to stop the student to take a test. The school of education claims, "games are a natural activity for students age 12-18", and " games offer the opportunity for teachers to understand the learning and solving process." Unlike standardized testing, games allow learners to be tested on important life skills like cleverness and effort.

 

Some schools in New York have changed state tests for performance based exams. Students are assigned projects, presentations, reports, or portfolios with collected work over a period time as a measure of understanding of material presented in the course. "These public schools tend to show higher graduation rates and better college-retention rates, while serving a population similar to that of other urban schools," claims the NPR.

 

Ultimately, the prosperity of this nation depends on the intelligence of it's citizens. We cannot continue to allow for standardized assessments to rob us from our full potential. Especially when there are numerous options that allow us to offer more to our world.