Standardized Tests: Bad for Students and Teachers

As a student that had to take standardized tests all throughout my schooling until high school I can tell you it’s a complete hassle. I’m sure plenty of my classmates can attest to standardized tests, like the FCAT, being a nuisance. The FCAT is a standardized test used for most of the state of Florida. Starting in elementary school all students are told that the way to get through 3rd grade is to pass these standardized tests. They are continued until high school with math, reading and science tests. I personally feel that I didn’t learn anything of importance while being “prepared” for the FCAT. The preparation for these standardized tests took away much of the learning experience I could have had in each class. There were even lessons on how to bubble a scantron in correctly that could take all class.

The school administration is so concerned with the scores of the entire school because they receive incentives for having higher percentages. The administration puts pressure on the teachers to focus mainly on the standardized test rather than the curriculum they should be teaching in their class. I have heard from many of my teachers while I was in high school say they didn’t like the system of standardized tests. It would distract them from what they wanted to actually teach the students. This creates a stressful atmosphere for both the teacher and the student. If the student doesn’t pass the exam, there is a possibility of being placed in a remedial class the following year or even being held back. It is stressful for the teachers because there are administrators constantly making surprise visits to make sure the teachers are teaching to the tests. Also the teachers are assessed by how their students perform on the tests, which can heighten the stress even more. All that these standardized tests seem to do is create a high-stress environment for both the students and teachers.

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