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Students, faculty debate effectiveness of standardized testing

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Standardized testing has been a source of controversy throughout the past several decades.

“Standardized testing is a qualitative, measured and comparable way to track student’s abilities and education,” said Darryl Johnson, English teacher.

After the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2001, the amount of standardized tests students take in public schools have drastically increased. A study by The Council of Great City Schools in Columbus, Ohio found that the average K-12 student takes 112 standardized tests in their time at K-12 schools, according to The Washington Post.

“Studying trends [like the No Child Left Behind Act] helps alter instruction to promote student success,” Johnson said.

Some say that these tests are overwhelming students, teachers, and parents. A study from The Washington Post shows that the average eighth-grader spends 25.3 hours taking standardized tests and takes 10.5 tests in a year, according to The New York Times.

“I wouldn’t change anything about the tests. We can control how we respond to it. I think it can be more effective with follow-through,” Johnson said. “The overemphasis of such assessments destroys the natural love of learning.”

With the students spending those 25.3 hours of one school year solely on testing alone, it could easily be said that an overemphasis is perhaps present, or forming at the very least. Testing, however lengthy, is important.

“It is important, but not necessary,” said Devon Prouty, freshman. “Since students take tests such as the ACT, it can affect the college they go to,but I don’t think it’s necessary because there are more things to reflect our education than standardized tests.”

With the way that our educational system is wired, testing has been made inherently critical.

Tests are a big part of your grade and I just think students performance could be determined by simple worksheets, which could give you more information and allow for more chances for teachers to help out the students,” said Jayce Elder, freshman. “They cause a lot of stress because when you take a test over something you’re not great at it causes stress, it’s what happens.”

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