A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Standardized testing affects students’ stress levels

Standardized testing has been overwhelming schools recently, and in my opinion, it should be removed from all the schools and be made sure to never be instituted again.

Standardized testing is testing that every single student has to take during the school year.  According to a study mentioned on the Washington Post, the average U.S. student takes 112 standardized tests from pre-kindergarten classes to their twelfth grade in high school.

There are several types of standardized tests, including the Maryland State Assessment (MSA), Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), and the Preliminary Student Aptitude Test (PSAT). However, despite the data, there has been controversy from both students and faculty about the necessity of these tests.

The statistics in the study state that the idea of standardized testing was welcome and useful, but interviews with both members of the faculty and students reveal the inaccuracy of that data.

Many Parkdale students, like junior Jamie Nace, believe the standardized testing to be unnecessary.

“I would love for these tests (except the PSAT) to be removed,” said Nace. “They provide no benefits for me.”

Not only do they not provide benefits to students, tests are also made to be very stressful. According to Brain Connection, stress is shown to have spiked, due to testing. Teachers have reported drastic rises in stress, and doctors have reported increased prescriptions for stress medicine for students, such as Ritalin and Prozac.

Faculty also report to sincerely doubt the necessity of these tests.

“I don’t like it,” said a Parkdale faculty member, who has elected to remain anonymous. “I don’t think it’s fair because some kids just don’t do well on tests. They do excellent one year, and then you throw this standardized test on them, they don’t do good on it, and then they’re judged on it. One day should not determine how smart a kid is!”

Standardized testing has been proven to be disliked by both students at the schools where it’s being handed out  and faculty at those schools as well. Therefore, with clear proof supporting it, standardized testing should be removed from the school system as soon as possible.

With standardized testing having spread throughout the entire United States, it doesn’t appear as if it’s going away anytime soon. However, it’s up to the students and faculty to speak up, provide evidence that standardized testing is a problem, and work to make it end.