Target: We, the people of Hawaii, have the power to abolish or at the very least reduce standardized tests. Everyone has a voice to speak out about the negative impacts that standardized tests have on schools, teachers, and especially students. Use your voice to abolish standardized testing,
Standardized tests have many flaws and have negative effects on schools, teachers, and students. One flaw is that some or most standardized tests do not help or allow students become creative in thought. “If our students are critically thinking, standardized tests will not measure their excellence appropriately.” In order for students to become successful in the future, they need to have diversity and know how to critically think. Students cannot be standardized (Lewis). Another flaw that affects teachers and students’ education, is that nowadays teachers spend more time “teaching to the test” than teaching other subjects or things needed for college or real life. Maricel Guinto, an eighth grade math teacher, believes that “the test take away too many instructional time from the classroom and it puts a lot of stress on the students and the teachers as well.” It has also been pointed out that not all standardized tests are “developmentally appropriate”. Meaning that since all students learn better in different ways and at different paces, not all students will do well on the test if they are not ready. Although, some students are better at different subjects compared to others, everyone still has to take the same tests. However, this is not a fair representation of each individuals intelligence. Some students will excel this because they are stronger in this subject. This does not mean that those who do not get a good score is stupid, it means that they are better at other subjects; that this is not a fair representation of their intelligence. This then creates useless test results. Overall, many teachers, parents, and school officials believe standardized tests are causing harm to students.
Standardized tests were made to compare students tests scores nationwide and to hold schools and teachers accountable. “One reason for standardized testing is its ability to allow for comparisons about student achievement among schools…The ability to compare this data is invaluable for the profession because it shows us what is working and where it’s working. This can lead to meaningful conversations that can help us continue to improve student achievement…Teacher accountability is another major reason for standardized testing implementation. Because standardized testing measures student mastery of grade level standards, standardized testing is utilized to hold teacher’s accountable for the work they do.” (Reasons and Purposes for Standardized Testing). It also uses the information from these accountability measures enabling policymakers to identify the schools that needs intervention (“Bless the tests: Three reasons for standardized testing”). Fred Murphy, a successful high school principal, believes that the reason why there is standardized testing “is very simple: people don’t trust the performance of schools. Public education foundation is seen as something that needs to be monitored or that we need to somehow check in on its performance because it has to prove its worth.”
Standardized tests not only affect students now, but it will affect them in the long run. According to Tom McLaughlin, a drama teacher, “Integration can be dangerous if (any one subject) becomes too consumed or morphed into reading or math. We run the risk of putting these other subjects out of business.” For example in the long run, social studies may be not taught or heard about as much as math or any other standardized test subject. Also, when students get to college; to “real life”, they may struggle because they have not developed much creativity, originality, or critical thinking. Students are so used to taking tests and choosing an answer that they might not have learned much that is useful in the real world.