Taking a Stand on Standardized Testing (by Guest Blogger Maryann Burton)

It is absolutely time that we take a stand on the standardized testing for school assessment system. As students and administrators in Seattle rally together to put an end to evaluating schools and teachers based on tests that were not intended for this purpose. Portland Public Schools and the Student Unions are following the footsteps of the courageous Garfield High School in Seattle and asking that all high schools in Portland opt-out of taking the standardized test this year.

The tests are an expensive waste of money. They do nothing but put more strain and stress on students and faculties; the results of these state standardized tests are not even looked at by colleges and universities when applying for admissions! PPS and the Student Unions are pushing for change, and in true social justice fashion, they are raising awareness of the fact that it is the system of assessment that needs to be changed—not the teachers administering the assessments.

So let’s stand behind these individuals, let’s make ALL of our schools look like they are “in need of improvement” so that we can focus on improving our means of assessing how a school or teacher is performing. Let’s get back to a time when attention could be paid to the individual student’s needs and direct ourselves away from spending precious time and money on assessments not worth their weight in accuracy.

Note: Maryann Burton is a student in the Educational Equity Capstone at Portland State University.  This course is facilitated by Deb Smith-Arthur. Thank you for joining us, Maryann!

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4 thoughts on “Taking a Stand on Standardized Testing (by Guest Blogger Maryann Burton)

  1. I completely agree with you! Standardized testing are a thing of the past and we need to re-vamp the whole testing approach. Not every child learns the same way and therefor not all children test the same way. Not to mention that the tests are time consuming and not benefiting the children the way that they could be if we tested in a different way. Do they also really help with statistics and the state?

  2. Agreed! Last night, as I was praising my kid brother for getting 100% on a math test, he responded with his head down, “that doesn’t matter – I still am not passing the Oaks test.” This depressed me and I tried to console him and feel proud of his success rather than failure on a test he said is, “hard to concentrate doing weird math problems I don’t understand on the computer.” The way Oaks tests are presented and the emphasis on them passed along to kids is repulsing. The sum of our intelligence is not captured in a single test.

  3. You know, I always assumed that we need standardized tests in order to gauge the quality of students but (and I don’t submit to this fully by any means) we already kind of have a metric set up for this simply through the college system and the job market. Having a high school diploma is not what gets you a job, it is the minimum that allows for an interview and consideration at most places but after that it is up to your attitude and performance in the interview setting. The same goes for colleges, even without entrance exams if you get to college and you didn’t do anything in high school you simply won’t be prepared and you will flunk out.

    Again, I am not fully on board with this libertarian kind of approach to education, it just occurred to me and seemed like an interesting perspective to look at this issue through. The biggest problem with this is that if we did it we would not know how bad a school was until it had damaged hundreds and maybe thousands upon thousands of students and none of us would want that.

  4. Readers:
    Standardized testing has been a hot topic for quite some time now and I’m definitely ready to see some change. I do believe that standardized testing is limited in truly understanding a student’s knowledge on a topic. However, I am curious how a student’s ability would be assessed if it wasn’t by standardized test? Would they be able to draw a picture? Sing a song? Write a paper? Aren’t these things subjective and open to interpretation? What would that rubric be like, if any?
    Thanks!

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