There are many American students who have an increase of anxiety as the weeks of standardized testing approaches for their schools. Is standardized testing effective within the school system, since it is slowly taking the excitement from learning from students?

In the article in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss states the pro and cons of standardized testing. Strauss beings to “reveal frustrating absurdities and uncomfortable truths about our country’s testing obsession.” She beings to explains it is a get resource to calculate data, data and even more data. The benefits of calculating data allow us to compare our students to other “nations that are more developed.” Is it data that defines our students or our nation? Although data does not define our students it raises our standards for our students to produce the best, nothing but the best. (Read more of what Strauss says click here)

Standardized test effects more than the student but teachers and the parents, also. After taking a poll on Facebook asking the question, “Do you think standardized testing is effective for children within the school system? Why or why not?” there were many different replying in answering the question. A few respondents asked for a clarification of the question and what does “effective” mean in the contacts of education.. To rephrase to question, are they reflections adequate data of how students are performing and equipping them for the  future.

Bre Self replies to the question by stating,  “I don’t think they are effective, because true learning cannot be determined by one medium of evaluation. And for the kids who fail the standardized test it plants in them a belief that they are not smart enough or good enough at school work, which causes them to lose motivation to try hard and learn in other areas. I think standardized testing simultaneously elevates certain kids by affirming their skills in test results, while also tearing certain kids down by showing them that they aren’t smart enough. And that’s not the attitude we want kids to start having about education if we truly want them to benefit from it.”

Carrie Gould says,“Depending on its goal. If the testing is to measure what children know at a certain age or grade level and then compare that to others at the same age/grade level, then yes, it is an effective means to see what has been learned up to that point. That is assuming that all students in the same grade have been taught the same curriculum. Does this mean that standardized testing is an effective way to assess all that students know? Absolutely not.

“It is assessing if they have been exposed to and have retained the answers to the questions on the test. Is standardized testing an effective means for assessing how well teachers teach? No. All students learn differently, at different paces and through different styles. Standardized testing assumes we are all the same and we are not. However, it does have a place in our educational system, just not one as important as lawmakers seem to think. Some students don’t test well. Should they be penalized for test anxiety? Should it be the determining factor for assessing what they know? Absolutely not. Standardized testing (all formal assessments, really) are only a piece of the assessment puzzle.”

Cara Horstman states, “It is a good baseline that is standardized across the board, but I think schools put too much emphasis on standardized test scores and should look more closely at other parts of the individual’s schooling, such as GPA, essays, and extracurricular/volunteer involvement.”

Amanda Freeman, an Ohio physician, “Having already taken more standardized tests in my life than the majority of humanity (not kidding) with more still left to take, I have many opinions on standardized testing. To be brief, It depends on what you mean by “effective.” If the “effect” is to assess whether a child has achieved the learning necessary to master a “standard” or select set of educational topics then probably yes. However, if the “effect” is to judge whether or not a child will succeed either on his own or if a child will succeed more so than any other child in a real life scenario then the answer is absolutely no. Standardized testing cannot and never will be able to assess life skills.”

There is not one way to fix our obsession with testing. There are different ways to help students stay engaged within school setting. Francesca Gino, discusses in the article by Randy Dotinga, “Standardized test scores decline with each passing hour of school”, students need more breaks in order to keep there minds attractive and to absorbs information. (Read more here)

Are you tired of taking these tests? Are you tired of your child coming home dreading the thought of going back to school to continue testing? Are you a teacher who is cringing their teeth hope their student can show the state how well they performance is, hoping you do not lose your job?

Stop worrying about being a “good” tester and be ready and engaged to be the absolute best learner and see where the test takes you. Don’t let test results define you.