Garfield Senior High School

Oh Testing, Why Must You Be This Way?

Testing: a student’s greatest enemy besides grades. Testing has always been an issue for educators, students, and parents. Standardized testing is used in many schools in order to measure how much a student has learned as well as keep track of a teacher’s accountability. In a lot of ways, this sounds like a reasonable way to test students, but what happens when testing fails to show the truth of what it is truly measuring?

Problems like “teaching for the test” appear that affect accountability and, as a result, what a student learns is blurred. As testing is now, it is a measurement for a student’s ability to pass a test and not their true comprehension of the material.

Testing has now also become a way to determine whether or not a student should pursue a college education. Tests like the SAT and ACT become tools that determine where a student can or cannot go. This, in turn, causes students to not study the material, but learn test-taking skills that will get them a better score. A student, then, no longer gains an education that will prepare them for the future, but methods that help you figure out whether to bubble in A, B, C, or D.

It also becomes a way to check whether or not the government should continue investing money on certain schools. Testing percentages and growth become the measurements on how successful a school is. With these statistics and percentages, a school’s funding can be cut and this leads to even less resources for students. Testing becomes so important for this reason that it completely overshadows the purpose of why we are testing.

It is sad to see how far from the objective testing has fallen and how it is negatively affecting our education. These test turn schools from a place of learning to nothing more than a cheat sheet to use on the test. If nothing is done the investment in our education would cease to bear any fruit and the next generation may very well be the last