Standardized tests are common all around the country to evaluate how well a student performs in school. In Texas, there are the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) End Of Course exams that are taken in high school for the core subjects to help determine if a student will graduate.
Standardized tests do not measure a student’s intelligence the way they should.
Standardized tests do not measure a student’s knowledge to be able to pass because many students have trouble taking tests and showing their understanding of a subject through a multiple choice, 4-5 hour long assessment. This could be due to ADHD, ADD, test anxiety, dyslexia, exhaustion or it isn’t their strong suit. In a situation where failing the test means that they won’t be able to graduate with their peers can be stressful and can hinder their performance.
Another reason that standardized tests are not the way to go is that teachers have actually started to teach to the test instead of a wider and more comprehensive curriculum that incorporates more than just the subject of the test. So students are preparing for a test their entire year instead of learning and retaining more useful information and knowledge for their life and a better curriculum that is just more thorough in general.
Some might argue that standardized tests can be good for pinpointing someone’s trouble areas to see what they need improvement on, and the test data can also be collected and averaged out to study trends in students’ learning. But the tests should only be used for that and should not determine if a student should pass or not. A student could understand the subject perfectly, yet could completely bomb the test because they simply do not do well with them. Graduating should not ride on the sole passing of a test.
Standardized testing can be helpful, but the way that they are being used and how much they are being relied on is not good. They should not be required for graduation and should only be used as one factor of a student’s academic growth and understanding.