Tag Archives: High stakes tests

To Test or Not to Test?

I am a retired teacher/grandmother and I grieve for all children who suffer because of standardized tests. If you parent a child who becomes anxious, nauseated, or sleep deprived due to stress over the test, you may consider opting your child out of the state assessment. If you do so, please double-check all information in this post with the education agency of your state.

Reasons to Oppose or Opt Out of the Test

  1. State exams do not measure the material we want students to learn. Unfortunately, schools tend to teach material being tested.
  1. High stakes tests promote racial bias since test vocabulary differs from the language of many minority students.
  1. Tests do not provide fair or accurate assessments of second language students or those living in poverty.
  1. Pressure from tests actually invites lying and cheating.
  1. Tests fail to indicate how much a student actually knows or how well a teacher teaches.
  1. Tests and test preparations reduce time for valuable instruction. Often schools eliminate art and music.
  1. Some students experience extreme stress because of tests.
  1. Emphasis on the yearly test reduces excitement, curiosity, and imagination.

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Testing —Too Much of a Good Thing

Sometimes the best intentions have the most frightening consequences. When No Child Left Behind ushered in an avalanche of tests, I’m certain it seemed wise to construct testing bills. If one test would be good, multiple tests in every subject would be better. Today, children, parents, and teachers suffer the outcome of those early decisions. I am in favor of having high standards in education. I believe in assessment when it is used to test mastery and when used for diagnostic purposes. We have, however, gone overboard. Continue reading