Standardized Tests

by Calah Vicks


There is a big disagreement over whether standardized test help you or not, and everybody including teachers, students, and parents has his or her own opinion. Many people ask themselves, do these tests help students  or do they do nothing for their education?   There are always two  sides of a story. The US Department of Education says, “Teaching to the test can be good thing because it focuses on essential content and skills, eliminates time-waiting activities that don’t produce learning gains and motivates students to excel.” Many people disagree with this assumption like  Carnegie-Knight Task Force, who say,  “NCLB tests are narrowing the curriculum since 2001, 44% of school districts had reduced the time spent on science, social studies and the arts by an average of 145 minutes per week in order to focus on reading and math.”  By narrowing down science and social studies, that’s taking away valuable information that can be taught to  students that want to know more about the world and students who want to know more about their surroundings.


Is there stress in test

One part of the conflict is if taking standardized test are stressful because they take time to prepare for, and students also have to do homework and other school work. Students, teachers, and parents may think this but other students, teachers and parents think there’s enough time to get work done and do the tests that are given to them. A New York Times writer Diana  Jean Schemo who is against standardized tests wrote, “On Sep.11, 2002 students at Monterey High School in Lubbock ,TX were prevented from discussing the first anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks because they were too busy with standardized test preparation.”  Diana Schemo claims  standardized tests take up the time for you to learn important information like economic or governmental problems.  Patte Barth and Ruth Mitchell are against that; they say in  any case, research has shown that drilling students does not produce test score gains: “Teaching a curriculum aligned to state standards and using test data as feedback produces higher test scores than an instructional emphasis on memorization and test-taking skill.”   What Patte Barth  and Ruth Mitchell claim is that teachers should not try to teach students a bunch of stuff that they won’t memorize, but instead should trying to teach them something they will use in a real world situation. Both sides are accurate and give reliable information, but don’t choose your side just yet.


Are they fair or do you not care?

Some kids think these tests are fair while older students do not take them seriously because they “don’t affect their grades.” This is a very interesting conflict because in most high schools you need to pass tests to graduate high school . Education Insights remarked, “On June 2006 public agenda survey of 1,342 public school students in grades 6-12 found that 71% of students think the number of tests they have to take is “about right” and 79% believe test questions are fair.” While Education Insight  says this, Russell Contreras says,  “An English teacher at New Mexico’s Valley High School said in Aug. 2004 that many juniors just ‘had fun with the tests making patterns when filling in the answer bubbles: Christmas tree designs were popular. So were battleships and hearts.’”  The children that made these were very silly and could mess around and fail high school. The students in the school can also make their teacher seem bad at her/his job or even their school.


What I understand about standardized test is the way they they help some students get better grades and understand more about school. I also understand how some other kids think standardized test can’t teach them anything. All kids think differently and learn differently so there would be a debate about standardized tests.



Works Cited

Meader, Derrick. “How will the common core standards impact you?” Education Derrick Meador, 2016. Web 04 Oct. 2016


Phelps; Richard P. “Standardized” headlines. ProCon. 31 Aug. 2016 Web 16 sept. 2016






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