Standardized Testing in School System Argumentative Essay

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Standardized testing should be taken out of our school systems, to help with stress of students, teachers and so much more. Standardized testing is defined as “a test that is given to students in a very consistent manner; meaning that the questions on the test are all the same, the time given to each student is the same, and the way in which the test is scored is the same for all students.” (What Is Standardized Test?)

In the United States, we use testing as a way to define students. We give these standardized tests to students and expect them to do well and get higher scores, if students do not receive an average score, the school system and teachers will then base their learning ability off of that score. Meaning that lower score takers will be in a lower class and that higher score takes will be in a more challenging class.

Standardized testing should be eliminated from the school systems due to levels of stress rising in students, teachers’ curriculums are based on standardized testing, which cuts the curriculums short, and lastly, limitations on students learning.

For students to be able to succeed and stay on track for school, they must pass each state mandated test. Students having to focus most of their time on studying, and preparing for benchmarks, midterms, and finals can cause a lot of stress to their mental health. It has been proven that from pre-k to the end of senior year of high school, the average student will take up to 112 mandatory standardized tests. (Strauss, Valerie.)

Each year that can take up to 25 hours of schooling away from the students and teachers, due to the time limits set for each test. (Strauss, Valerie.) Standardized testing has always been made a big deal to the students each year, mostly because each test can cost up to 20-50 percent of the student’s grades.

This percentage students look at as something that can either make or break their grades in the class. Students likely receive a rubric of the class on the first day, which have the benchmark and finals scaling on the final grade.

The first day is when the students start to get that hint of stress already. Stress of students can start as early as grade 3. Grade 3 to grade 8 is proven as the grades that spend the more on standardized testing. 16 to 18 hours. ( Lazarín, 2014)Standardized testing is something that can determine a high schoolers chances of getting into their first-choice colleges. (From ACT & SAT). “The prepping for the test takes a lot of time. Instead of possible doing projects or more hands-on-learning, we really focused on the testing format and preparing for students to be comfortable taking the test. The prepping starts at the beginning of the year and ends in April” (Teoh, Coggins, Guan, & Hiler, 2014). Students spend almost all their time in the school year to study for their standardized tests. Their focuses don’t go much into school work as it does to study and prepare themselves for these exams. Students stress from standardized testing last up to almost 9 months of the school year.

Curriculums are what the school district gives teachers to base their lesson plans off of, and today most curriculums are based off of standardized testing. The curriculum decides what the students get to learn on an everyday basis. As standardized testing because even more involved in the curriculum, the curriculum is now cutting back on other subjects that should be learned. (Squire 2014.) Some subjects that are not being involved as much in the curriculum is fine arts, foreign languages, music, and other art-based subjects. (Squire 2014.)

The reasoning behind this is because we usually don’t see these subjects in standardized testing, and to the school board that is what matters. For English teachers, they are supposed to focus mainly on literacy skills, which is on one the subject that is measured on standardized testing. “Student’s in ELA classes do less high-level learning when instruction is guided by such narrowly focused and capricious systems” (Squire, James R 2014).

Students are learning in the English classes what they need to know for a test setting. So, for example students are learning in their classrooms how to write short answer responses, and how to figure out the best way to answer multiple choice options. The reasoning behind this learning is because standardized testing is mostly multiple-choice questions and short answer responses, not much detailing that would need to go into the student’s answers.

Learning about different subjects and thoroughly learning about the subject, and not just how to test on the subject is what teachers should be focusing on teaching their students. As just stated, standardized testing is what the curriculum circulates around, to make sure students can succeed when it comes time for the test. This restricts students to learn about subjects being cut short and not even taught. Due to the subject not being prominent in standardized testing, the curriculum will cut the topic short on what will be learned or just not be taught at all.

For English teachers, they have to cut back on bigger more strung out projects, that can teach students social skills, persistence, and other important skills that are needed throughout life. “Students learning that could lead in positive directions is diminished when tests prevent teachers from helping students develop the noncognitive abilities that support better life outcomes” (Squire, James R 2014).

Not only do subjects help you learn about that subject and go in depth in details about the subject, but for teachers to be able to teach how they want without any guidelines to follow, they can teach their students skills that are needed outside of the classroom. (Squire 2014.) Teachers can do this by bringing the subject involved with certain activities, and not just trying to teach students how they can learn the subject quickly and efficiently just to pass a test.

There are many counterarguments that people used to stand with keeping standardized testing. Here are what some people might say to keep standardized testing in the curriculum: People argue that standardized testing prepares you for college. (arguments for and against standardized testing in college admissions 2015.) From a personal stand point, that statement is false.

College is about learning and getting more involved in the degree that you have chosen. Yes, some majors do require standardized testing at the end, but the standardized testing you take in school does not prepare you for anything in college. Each classroom is different in college, and you learn different topics, different teaching skill, and different test taking skills.

Standardized testing does not prepare you for that, it only teaches you your basic knowledge. Another statement that some people argue is that standardized testing is practical, meaning that these tests are time efficient and easy to grade. (arguments for and against standardized testing in college admissions 2015.) Learning is something that is important in everyone’s life, we learn, so we can succeed and go further in life.

Being told that this test is easy to grade, and that’s one of the reasons students are made to take it is not good reasoning at all, bring in unnecessary stress and cutting back on certain subjects just of a fast and easy test is ridiculous. The last argument that people have stated is, standardized testing is accountable. (Meador, Derrik.)

Teachers teach the required materials to students that will be on standardized tests. Teachers should not only have to teach what is required for these standardized tests. That is holding back so much more information on certain subjects that students are hoping to learn, or that is helpful to teach students.

If changes are not made to standardized testing, the stress and anxiety levels of students will only continue to rise, and also, it will also start to rise in teachers. If standardized testing does not begin to start to cut back and not be made into such a big deal, then teachers will decline even more that the rates that are happening now, and more students will drop out or fail.

If changes are made that the success rates in students will increase, and the stress levels will decrease. Students will enjoy coming to school and learning about things that they are interested in. The art programs will begin to flourish again, which opens up so many more opportunities to students.

Works Citied

  1. “arguments for and against standardized testing in college admissions.” ECampusTours, 22 July 2015 www.ecampustours.com/for-students/college-planning/test-taking-SAT,-ACT,-and-more/arguments-for-and-against-standardized-testing-in.aspx#.XJAwVxlKit8.
  2. Meador, Derrick. “What You Need to Know About Standardized Testing.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 18 Sept. 2018, www.thoughtco.com/examining-the-pros-and-cons-of-standardized-testing-3194596.
  3. Lazarín, M. (2014). Testing overload in America’s schools. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LazarinOvertestingReport.pdf
  4. Simpson, Christina. Effects of Standardized Testing on Students’ Well-Being. May 2016, projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/eap/files/c._simpson_effects_of_testing_on_well_being_5_16.pdf.
  5. Squire, James R., et al. “How Standardized Tests Shape-and Limit- Student Learning.” A Policy Research Brief, 2014, pp. 1–3., www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/CC/0242-nov2014/CC0242PolicyStandardized.pdf.
  6. Produced by NCTE
  7. Strauss, Valerie. “Confirmed: Standardized Testing Has Taken over Our Schools. But Who’s to Blame?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Oct. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/24/confirmed-standardized-testing-has-taken-over-our-schools-but-whos-to-blame/?utm_term=.254a3017e034.
  8. Teoh, M., Coggins, C., Guan, C., and Hiler, T. (2014). The students and the stopwatch: How American students spend on testing? http://www.teachplus.org/sites/default/files/publication/pdf/the_student_and_the_stopwatch.pdf
  9. “What Is a Standardized Test?” Leading U.S. Education Guide for All International Students, www.studyusa.com/en/a/1284/what-is-a-standardized-test.


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Standardized Testing in School System Argumentative Essay. (2020, Sep 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/standardized-testing-in-school-system/

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