Ever since former president George W. Bush implemented No Child Left Behind in 2001, standardized testing has flooded the public school system and a debate has begun. The intentions behind the legislation were honorable: to hold teachers and students accountable for their efforts, distribute federal funding fairly, and measure academic progress routinely so that every child would be able to meet the minimum standard of proficiency. However, the legislation had quite the opposite effect on our public schools, and children have unknowingly suffered as a result. Read on to learn how standardized testing is detrimental to your child learning valuable skills and information.
Standardized tests cannot measure any child’s true intelligence, but their future depends on their scores.
It’s long been known that many students suffer from testing taking anxiety, or showcase their knowledge best by creating projects or making speeches. Others are wise to test-taking tricks especially with the wide variety of ACT prep help available. Students correctly answer questions based on the test’s construction, but not their actual knowledge base. Every child is unique, but the standardizing testing process is “one size fits all”. Students are placed into English and math classes based on their standardized test scores, rather than their abilities or skills, and are often improperly categorized. Many students are not taught basic test preparation strategies to maximize the likelihood of success. Others are not permitted to graduate because of low scores on state tests, even though they’ve completed their coursework satisfactorily.
Teachers are forced to spend more time teaching to the test, rather than teaching critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Teachers already have limited time in a class period to deliver thought-provoking and stimulating material, and once they have to devote entire class periods to go over test questions and strategies, the true purpose of the class is essentially lost. Teachers lose control over what they feel is necessary for students to know because their salaries and reputation are based on how their students perform on tests. They are forced to shift their priority from instilling true student understanding and inspiring creativity to drilling students to think the way one test wants them to.
School districts with high student achievement can still be denied federal funding if test scores are low.
Impoverished school districts that have large student populations and an inadequate amount of resources are the ones who suffer most from the education system’s emphasis on standardized testing. Testing corporations regularly release new tests and corresponding materials to teach students how to successfully take the test at hand, but poor districts simply cannot afford new materials every year. Even if their students are proficient in important skills, and achieve high grades, they will still achieve low test scores because they do not have access to the correct materials. These districts are then denied access to necessary funding because of their low scores, and the cycle continues.