Testing piles on


Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Sara-James Ranta, Layout/Design Manager

This story was originally published in the first issue of The Bear Truth (October 11, 2019).

County exams. End of course exams. Pop quizzes. All these tests that students get piled on with. Are they really worth it?

First, let’s break down the basics. According to the Education Post, “Standardized tests are a spotlight that helps education leaders see what effect schools are having on students. With that information they can make changes to address students’ needs.” Therefore, standardized tests are something schools rely on to assess the needs of students, which, inevitably do help students; without standardized testing of some sort, education all across the U.S might not advance as fast as it should.

Although, is the standardized testing given now really too much? As a student myself, I don’t exactly know if I’m being taught at an accelerated pace. Is it because of my learning level? Or is it because teachers need to cram all this info in before another exam? What ever happened to the essence of learning something to understand it and not learning something to memorize it because “it might be on your next nine weeks exam?” The pressure I have as a student to do good on tests that only matter to the state is greatly high. How are education leaders supposed to measure success when they can’t formulate success rates for both the internal & external part of learning? You can equally base low scores on an assessment by both lack of proficiency in the subject or test anxiety. You can also equally base high scores on an assessment by great proficiency in the subject or extreme skills of memorization. How does such a bland, monotonous baseline for education supposed to better it? If it means anything at all, our education leaders should be more equivocal with their approach to learning instead of piling us all into cookie-cutter boxes expecting us to all understand information the same.

Thus, we’re at a standoff. Isn’t there a better way for education to be presented? Unless we can all riot up as bears and march through the governor’s door tomorrow, not much is going to change. Not unless we all teach ourselves about the faults of our education system to completely undermine it. However, that’ll have to wait, too; with the way our education system is set now I’ve got too much homework to even think about undermining the system. With all that being said, at least continue to learn; I mean, that’s why you’re in high school right?