Diane Ravitch, an educational policy analyst and a research professor at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development said, “sometimes the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds.” Well, unsurprisingly students take as many as 20 standardized assessments in the United States in order to provide an equitable measure of their academic achievements.
A majority of the time, standardized tests create a stressful and deceiving learning environment. This steers students away from genuinely using the tests for their academic advancement. Imagine a student who is able to demonstrate full understanding of a topic in a classroom, but is penalized at his failure to deliver the utmost on a standardized test, stressful right? This is the reason why standardized tests are ineffective and ultimately measures very little of my ability as a student.
Standardized tests have been overwhelming the lives of American students for more than 5o years and it is safe to say that the pressure of these assessments has heighetend from when they were first introduced. According to Schulten’s “How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?” when students were given an open platform to speak on their experiences with standardized tests. Maria P. said “in my opinion, I do not think standardized tests truly measures all students abilities. I say this because some students are very bright and very smart, but when it comes to taking a test, some students just break down. Tests impact different students, in different ways.” Many students do slip up when it comes time to take standardized tests and this is just the result of a bad test taker! However, this does not mean that those students did not understand the material they learnt.
On top of everything, according to Armstrong’s “15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Worthless,” students know that these tests may affect their lives in the future they begin to do whatever it may take to pass. This includes situations like taking performance drugs or more commonly seen, cheating. At the end of the day, when standardized tests are graded the graders are not witnessing the academic achievement of such student, but his or her ability to Google every answer on the test without getting caught. Such tests do not provide any helpful feedback on how that student could perform better because they cheated or used a drug to enhance their test taking skills. In this case, it is easy to understand that standardized tests measures very little of my ability as a student.
Even though standardized tests can act as a useful tool to hold teachers, schools, and districts accountable for success and failure it is time to create an school environment where students do not have to take a test to confirm whether or not an educator can educate! It is also about time that we do not judge the ability of a student based on a test score.
We are well aware of some students that we need to take into account, including those who are bad test takers but exceptional in their classroom environment. Furthermore, standardized tests impacts students differently. There is no telling how many students there are either my age, older, or younger who feel like they need to cheat or go to the extreme of taking performance drugs in order to prove their academic abilities!