Standardized Testing Sets Students Up to Fail

This month, WRHS students began taking the CAASPP. CAASPP testing is standardized testing given by the state you are residing in to see how well students learn the curricula taught in their school. With limited time and several connection issues, students sat for a test that may or may not indicate what they are learning. The question is: Why are students taking a standardized test after spending most of the school year online three days a week?

Standardized testing should not be a requirement to take this year. Students should not have to take the CAASPP because there is no guarantee students taking the test this month have learned a single thing since March 2020. Since the nationwide pandemic that started in March 2020 and is still lasts in some degrees today, students have not learned as well as they would have been years before.

So, should we have to take the standardized tests? Students should not have to take state testing this year. Since November, most of this school year has been online (and more days online than in person since November), which has been new for students and teachers to learn how to do. Adjusting has been stressful. Considering that most teachers could not teach as well as they wanted to, students could not get the proper education they need. Students have or are going through “pandemic depression,” which makes it harder for them to understand or even want to do the things taught, so adding major testing adds more stress to those students.

Standardized testing is used statewide for students k-8 and 11th graders to measure the students’ skills in taking the same academic courses and seeing how well students understand the things that are being taught. The scores of the tests can help improve the teaching curriculum to help students learn better. It also ensures that the students receive a quality education from wherever they are coming from since the learning standards are the same around the state.

For high school students, standardized testing is being used to go to colleges. Since we have not been in school for almost a year and now having to take tests that determine our further education when we go to college is not fair. I say this because I, as a junior who has been in quarantine since my mid-sophomore year and having the teachers suffer teaching us has been challenging.

Is standardized testing beneficiating student’s health, or is it making it worse? When students take standardized tests or “State testing,” it tests how well students learn what is being taught, such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc. Suppose 80 percent of the students are testing terrible in a subject such as Math. In that case, it shows that students do not understand what they are being taught in math, so teachers have to change the curriculum to make sure that those students are getting a chance to learn, but what about the other 20 percent of students who do understand what math they are being taught? Since more than half of their class cannot comprehend the math, they are the ones who are suffering because now their knowledge is being “dumb downed” just because the other students do not understand.

On the other hand, if 90 percent of students pass with flying colors on their Social Studies test, the teachers know that the curriculum that is being taught students are understanding, but what about the 10 percent of students who do not understand the curriculum? They are going to be the ones who are going to suffer more because they are not understanding it but are being overlooked since half of the class passed the testing.

Since state testing is a yearly thing that happens to help the education system develop better things to help students learn, it also affects the students negatively. State testing could get other subjects in school pushed out of the teaching program. Some schools may do this to give students time to study more and prep them for taking the tests, but getting subjects dropped to put more time and focus into other more important subjects can negatively impact a student’s school life. So is state testing a good or bad thing?