Do you believe in standardized testing?


A large majority of teachers do not believe in standardized testing. The pros and cons of standardized testing have been debated for many years. School districts use these types of tests to help determine funding requirements at different schools. Schools struggling to keep their students performing at acceptable levels may require increased funding for alternate programs. This is the ideal way that standardized testing should be used. Unfortunately, many people feel that this type of testing ranks schools, teachers and students and only those at the top of the list end up feeling good about the results. Perhaps if these results weren't made public, but used only to make sure that funding goes where it is required most, there wouldn't be such negative connotations associated with the results.

Many teachers who oppose standardized testing do so with the students in mind. Some teachers feel that when students are made aware that their school performed poorly in the assessment it will damage their self-esteem. The argument has also been made that preparing for assessment tests takes time away from regular instruction time. Further time is lost when the tests are being administered.

Teachers in some areas feel so strongly about standardized testing that teachers' unions or federations will send home a letter to parents urging them to take their children out of testing. Many parents receive this letter, plus one from the school district explaining that the tests are mandatory, and a third letter from the school principal explaining his exemption policy. It can all be a little overwhelming and parents often feel stuck in the middle.

Standardized testing is probably here to stay, whichever way you feel about it. Knowing that the majority of teachers do not support the current system of testing to assess learning outcomes is troubling. Whichever side of the debate you chose; it seems that teachers continue to be concerned about how students will be affected and what is in the children's best interest. Can we ask for any more than that?