Evaluations of standardized testing

Ella Prince, Staff Writer

In the U.S., standardized testing is prominent in schools in hopes to benefit students for their future. In the past, high test scores have been crucial to meet due to competitive admission rates for universities. Students and staff at FHS deal with standardized testing every year, as the test requirements repeatedly change. What are the benefits of standardized testing? Are standardized tests necessary to see where students stand academically? These are questions that are repeatedly asked as time passes and students continue taking them.

Mrs. Willhite, science teacher at FHS, spoke about how standardized testing is useful to evaluate students all throughout the U.S. “I think one benefit to standardized testing is it gives a blanket way to assess students compared to other students around the world. You can compare someone in Franklin to someone in New York City.” 

However, she stated that the tests should not be used as an assessment to get into college or a scholarship. “I think there should be other ways that universities and colleges can come up with to grant admission into universities.  I think there is a lot of pressure put on these tests, and what students face today is way different than what students faced 50 years ago.”

Students also have big opinions on standardized testing. Thaddeus Bergschneider, junior at FHS, expressed that the majority of students at FHS do not like to take standardized tests such as MAP, ISA, or IAR because it deals with the progress of students. “These specific tests are pointless because, based on the test scores they receive, they can be categorized into special education classes, RTI time in school, etc. That’s hard because some students are not great at taking tests.” Nonetheless, he mentioned that standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, are useful because college admission is something that is based on performance and based on percentages of students. “Top tier percentages of students get into high-end college, whereas it could separate those students from lower-tiered students.” 

However, he mentioned that these standardized tests should be completely changed because some students are just simply not good test-takers. “These tests need to change for students whose specialties are outside of reading math and language. I think there needs to be questions for people that can think well outside of the box in different ways– it definitely needs to be more project-based for students who have different skill levels,” Bergschneider said.

Ms. Reed, JH/HS math teacher, spoke about how standardized testing is a “power move” for the state and country to make money for their own organization’s benefits. “Though I think standardized testing can be beneficial, I think that board administrations take advantage of it for their own profit.” Reed also expressed that students are different in all ways and comparing them in a standardized test is not the way to find real-life skills in people.

A junior, Mikah Ribble, expressed her personal experiences with standardized testing, as well. “From my personal experiences, I do not think that standardized testing is beneficial. I think it is designed more to grade a school rather than an individual student. I personally hate them, and I think it is just all-around an unnecessary stressful experience.” Ribble then mentioned if these tests continue, companies in charge of them should change the time limit. “If these administrations want us to do our very best, these tests should not be timed in any way to seek the best results.”

Students and teachers seem to be on the same page when it comes to standardized testing and are hoping for a more efficient and accurate way to assess students academically.