Standardized testing is one of the biggest things that students hear about over and over throughout the year. It’s what teachers are always preparing us for throughout the year. It seems to be an end goal for most students. It defines if we pass the overall class or even sometimes the academic year. But how important is it really?
Recently most standardized testing has been cancelled to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a national crisis, standardized tests are the least of our worries. But this might show something else about our school system. Maybe the tests aren’t so important after all.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has long said that basing educational prowess on standardized testing as its flaws.
“The overarching reason that students’ scores on these tests do not provide an accurate index of educational effectiveness is that any inference about educational quality made on the basis of students’ standardized achievement test performances is apt to be invalid,” the ASCD posted on its website. “They should not be used to judge educational quality.”
Tests don’t show all of a student’s capabilities. In reality, they show a lot about a student’s ability to memorize
For example, Penn State University’s recent research found that “standardized tests create more pressure to use memorization skills, rather than practical problem solving skills, which tends to lower students’ overall success.”
Teachers are cramming information into students’ brains all year. Add on to the fact that most students have seven classes and it’s easy to see why school can be overwhelming to most students.
The end of the year tests only show how much we have remembered from the whole year. Students study and learn all year to regurgitate information onto a test and then forget most of that information the next year.
Student’s have to study a whole year’s worth of content to be assured they’ll pass. It can all be very overwhelming and stressful especially students who take longer to learn and understand topics. Standardized testing shows little of a student’s ability to actually retain knowledge and apply it. It shows more of who’s the best student by showing who is able to memorize the best.
Simply put, standardized testing will not be missed this year. As students continue to learn within this pandemic, they have one less crisis to worry about.