Standardized Testing: a Necessity or a Bother?

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Standardized Testing: a Necessity or a Bother?

Teachers wear less testing more learning stickers to show support for a teaching philosophy with less standardized testing.

Teachers wear less testing more learning stickers to show support for a teaching philosophy with less standardized testing.

Claire Stone

Teachers wear less testing more learning stickers to show support for a teaching philosophy with less standardized testing.

Claire Stone

Claire Stone

Teachers wear less testing more learning stickers to show support for a teaching philosophy with less standardized testing.

Halle Sullivan, Contributing Writer

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As sophomores recently completed three days of MCAS, an article about testing and student opinions on it seems particularly relevant. After interviewing a number of students I found that a surprisingly large number of kids support the need for standardized testing and testing in general. However, a handful believe that there are other ways to test student comprehension.

Sophomore Caroline Leduc thinks that weekly tests based on memorization put too much stress on students. She believes that students will most likely forget what they learned after the assessment is over. Instead of using assessments based on memorization that count for a significant portion of a student’s grade, she suggests weighting these exams less heavily to reduce stress.

I found this type of response from students and teachers alike. During one of my interviews, one teacher who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “Testing is necessary because it can give us a good picture of where our students are at; however, it should not be the only way that we assess students and tests should not hold as much weight as they do.”

Intrigued by this concept, I did some research and was surprised to find that Finland, ranked the #1 education system in the world, has been using this idea for years. Students there take several performance exams throughout their school career to check their progress and to make sure they have learned the necessary curriculum. Unlike American schools, these tests have little effect on the student’s grade when compared to their other school work and are less frequent.

Whether you support them or not, for now at least, we all must deal with the headaches that come with standardized testing. Although they were not excited to take it, many of my classmates agreed that standardized tests are not that bad, but there are certain areas they could be improved.

Sophomore Karen Ji summed it up quite nicely by saying that, “standardized tests are a necessary evil.”

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