The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

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Taxing Testing

illustration by Theresa Birdwell

illustration by Theresa Birdwell

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Broken pencils, worn out notes and wasted paper. This is some of what students have to work through to pass state standardized tests.

Testing can be difficult for any student, and even more so when the same test is handed out to hundreds of thousands of students, with little success of broadening their minds.

Taking standardized tests is comparable to the way students learn. Not everyone learns the same, nor do they take tests the same. Since standardized tests, not including the SAT and ACT, are mandated by the state, there is nothing students can do, other than read the material and do the work.

Since we all have a different mind, we all have different way of processing new information. We have been told by teachers to try new ways of learning if we don’t understand a lesson, but how can we use our own ways of learning, when the state makes us take tests using only their way?

Because we have standardized testing, most teachers teach for the test. Students are rarely able to explore outside a certain curriculum without failing an assignment. We feel as if we are being taught for a specific test, which allows no room for actual learning. In 2001, a study published by the Brookings Institution, found that 50 percent to 80 percent of standardized tests had nothing to do with long term changes in student’s learning.

That is why many students feel like they are stuck in a rut in some of their classes. We would like to focus on work that will help us in everyday life after high school, because we have been told by teachers that what we do now will have an effect on our future.

It is often thought that testing is a great way for the state to have a better understanding of how much material students are learning in their classrooms. That is a true statement, because if we are processing the lessons correctly, the results look good for our teachers and us. That means our numbers look good on paper, but does that mean we are really learning the material, or we are just good at taking the test?

What about the students who consider themselves bad testers? If these students fail their test, then it reflects on them in a negative way. Even if they know the material.

With all these facts, the state should rethink their testing mandate. Each student is different and has their own unique way of learning new information. Because of this, testing can be difficult for some. With the limitations on test preparation and administration, students do not gain much from taking standardized tests, and it leaves them with a limited ability to broaden their minds.

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The School Newspaper of Rouse High School
Taxing Testing