Standardized testing is not the best way to measure how well a teacher teaches or how much a student has learned. Schools throughout the United States put their main focus on standardized tests; these examinations put too much stress on the teachers and students and cause traumatizing events. Standardized testing is believed to be the best way to evaluate how much a child has learned, however most students only score average on the tests.
George W. Bush strived to create a school environment for all children; “The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2001, was designed to close the achievement gap that exists between different economic, racial and ethnic groups, and ensure that all children in the United States receive a good education” (ProQuest Staff). After this act was passed, more stress was put on teachers for continued wages. If a school did not reach the standards the state set for them, federal funding was expurgated. Teachers in Los Angeles felt more stress than other teachers around the world.
Elementary students had begun taking standardized tests, the tests ranked teachers in grades 3-5 accordingly. Any person is able to see the “value-added performance” (Kuehn, Larry). Anxiety led to devastating occurrences; “One teacher, distressed by being singled out, committed suicide days after the individual teacher results were released” (Kuehn, Larry). The government did not take this incident seriously, even though they attempted to think about the issues, the final answer was “test better” (Kuehn, Larry).
The tests are not accurate, voluminous students do not take the test completely and honestly; those students tend to lower the teacher’s ranking. A teacher can never actually make students try their hardest on the standardized tests; the students must put forth the effort in order for all scores and teacher’s rankings to be a reflection of their teaching. Students feel the stress as well as the teachers. “Every year I do good in school, but I get low test scores on the FCAP and it feels like a punch in the stomach.
This is unfair and I don’t want to lose my opportunity to take my advanced classes, or get a better education because of this one test” (Locker, Melissa). This student is an example of extreme anxiety over the standardized test. Anxiety may also lead to throwing up or headaches. The teachers stress to the children how important the test is and cram with students a few weeks before the test. Children are not stable enough to handle the pressure put on them and might end up sick. Standardized tests are known to cause students to throw up; before every test a part of the booklet is read which explains the actions to take if a child gets sick.
This point makes it obvious, these tests cause children to get sick. Common Core has made its way into most schools; Common Core claims to be a college prep for high school students. Teachers are caused to change their method of teaching in order to meet the criteria for Common Core; students are stuck with trying to help the teachers figure out their new teaching methods. Since they are exploring methods, test scores are dropping. “States face big drops in proficiency rates if the new tests are, as expected, tougher than the previous ones” (Gewertz, Catherine).
Common Core created great complications causing teachers to have issues in their first years with Common Core. Teachers experienced with different methods in order to learn what they needed to do with future students. Getting into college requires students to make an assured grade on a standardized test called the ACT. High school students begin in kindergarten preparing for tests; to make it to the next level you have to make a certain score. Pressure is forced upon many students when they begin sophomore year; they begin to ponder the thoughts of college and life after high school.
Once they have planned out their school, major, and work life after college, the school counselor plans a meeting to discuss the ACT. Students begin to be worried and stressed about grades and tests; all of these stressed students do not realize they have been passing test after test to score a good enough grade to get into college, where they will begin to take test after test to graduate college and even after college, these students will still be tested within their workforce. The ACT is taken multiple times by individual students to get into college.
They test and stress to get the score needed to get into college to test and stress more. College is not needed to maintain a good occupation, however many people recommend attending college. Students do not spend many years preparing for college; students spend many years preparing for tests, particularly the ACT which gets a student into college. The ACT is one of the most important tests a student sees during high school. After high school it might be the bar examination which is then more important than the ACT, but first you must score well enough on the ACT or you will never get the opportunity to take the bar examination.