Recently, standardized testing has been in the news as students, teachers, and parents rebel against the latest wave of standardized testing. It’s been all over the news and covered by news agencies across the nation as more students are electing to opt out.
When No Child Left Behind was enacted in 2002, it meant huge, sweeping changes for American students through “standards-based” education. And how do you suppose officials planned to measure progress and the abstract concept of learning?
This “standards-based” education of No Child Left Behind required students to be constantly tested to measure their knowledge. Today, the average American student will take about 113 different tests by the time they graduate from high school. In fact, the number of federally mandated tests alone has nearly tripled as a result of No Child Left Behind, and that doesn’t include state mandated or district-specific tests.
But the issues don’t stop there.
Schools that performed well receive more federal money, and so the pressure on students to score well is immense. Many schools have entirely shifted their curriculum to “teach the test” in the hopes that their students will perform well on the standardized tests, rather than focusing more on holistic education, competence, and knowledge which can be hard to measure in a simple standardized test.
The high-pressure environment of standardized-testing causes many students stress and anxiety, and for otherwise academically gifted students who simply don’t perform well on standardized tests, their poor test scores can destroy academic futures.
Add in poorly trained and rushed test graders, unfair or ridiculous questions, shoddily designed computer-based curriculum, and it’s a recipe for disaster for American kids’ academic futures.
John Oliver recently did an extensive exposé on the issue of standardized testing in American schools which goes into considerable detail about how standardized testing determines school funding, widens the achievement gap, and the anxiety caused by the stress of testing.
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Are you as outraged as we are? Let us know how No Child Left Behind and standardized testing has impacted you and the young people you love in the comments.Whizzco