How well do standardized tests measure student abilities?

Gabbie Byers, Staff Writer

This widely circulated comic, author unknown, shows how using one kind of test to measure multiple intelligences isn’t fair.

As students, we are expected to take tests everyday, each one a little harder than the other, but all equally stressful. Students have a great deal of stress on them every single day, we are forced to go to school for seven hours of the day, do homework once we get home, take action in school activities /sports, have a job, and have a social life while all trying to maintain a healthy “stress-free lifestyle.” Throughout our educational career as students, teachers, principals, and lawmakers are basing who we are off numbers on tests.

Everyone has different strengths and different learning abilities, yet our future is based off these numbers. Junior Sarah Headapohl states, “Personally I think it’s not an accurate representation of a students abilities because of the varieties of factors as to why they may not perform well on a test.” A test doesn’t tell what happened to that student before they took the test. The grader doesn’t know the home life of the child, the school life or what they go through everyday. As Sophomore Stormm Byers points out, “I think they are just there for the teachers; they don’t really help the student as much.”

It has been documented that standardized testing does not help increase student achievement. According to a Washington Post investigation on standardized testing, “After No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading.” Standardized testing creates anxiety in children among other things, therefore students should be looked at as more than just a number on a piece of paper.