Standardized Testing in Public Schools
Anyone who has graduated high school in the last decade is familiar with the increased use of standardized testing. After the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002, the state spending on standardized tests rose from $423 million to $1.1 billion in 2008. The thought of standardized testing makes most students and teachers roll their eyes and groan with a sense of dread and panic. Every year, students are subjected to hours of sitting and bubbling, regurgitating the knowledge they have obtained over the year. There is too much standardized testing in schools, it takes time out of teachers’ instruction to focus on preparing students for the tests, these tests only measure a small portion of what makes education meaningful, and are also biased and discriminatory against non-English speakers and special education students.
Some schools allocate more than one quarter of a year’s instruction to test preparation. In 2010, New York schools reading and math scores plummeted, many schools implemented extra measures from being shut down, including hours of prep sessions and extra practice on vacation days. On average students spend more than fifty hours a school year testing and twice that much on preparation. The cost of test and prep materials is about $1,000 per student. On average, forty minutes a day is spent on testing and preparation which takes away from actual instructional time. Time and resources are wasted on planning and distribution of standardized tests. Administration spends time reviewing and evaluating test questions and results.
Education consists of much more than grades and scores you received on an English or math test. There is a lengthy list of qualities that standardized tests do not measure, such as creativity, critical thinking, motivation, self-discipline and honesty. Schools standardized testing only focuses on the test scores a student received at the end of the year and not the hard...