I am an education major at Simpson College in Indianola Iowa, I am writing with a group of three other students urging your support to abolish standardized testing. Next week many school’s in our state will be taking the ITBS, one of many useless standardized tests. Each year students take this test which brings unnecessary stress to educators by having to teach students how to pass a test rather than focus on curriculum, and educators already have too little time to work with primary content.
Forcing students to select answers from given choices is not authentic work and therefore does not reflect student knowledge or reveal whether or not they are truly learning.
Students are taught to think critically when working through a problem but standardized testing does not allow the amount of time necessary for all students to do so. Struggling students often use their allotted time and have to guess at answers and randomly fill in the bubbles knowing that questions left blank are automatically counted as wrong. ELL students, LSE students, and students with learning disabilities are highly disadvantaged by such high stakes testing. In fact, even students that are not considered a struggling learner have much difficulty passing a test that is completely separate from their ongoing curriculum and have such strict time constraints. There are just too many factors that can negatively impact a student’s score on a standardized test: being nervous, ill, neglected,suffering from abuse, or experiencing grief are circumstances of life and have nothing to do with a child’s intelligence.
Judging schools and their students according to the results of standardized testing has been proven to be a failed system so why is it still being used? Although there is a Common Core from state to state, curriculum still differs to some degree. For example, we have our own Core in Iowa but still insist on the same test results from every student, in every state. To support standardized testing is to disregard a students ability to explain, interpret, apply, empathize, reveal selfknowledge, or perspective. As a college student I have been subjected to many of these high stakes tests as well. I was given an ACT on critical thinking unexpectedly…