Should Students Be Forced To Take Standardized Tests?

The enormous stress of standardized testing raises the question of if students should even take standardized testing.


Tyler Dorch, Staffer

With February comes up Juniors all across the US take standardized tests to ‘test’ them on their knowledge. But why do we do this? Why do as a society take standardized tests seriously and make them so powerful in our college education system?
The SAT was invented in 1926 by Carl C. Brigham. The test was derived from Army IQ tests. The test takes about 3 hours to finish. The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college. Sophomore Phillip Summy dislikes standardized testing because he says it doesn’t do anything except wasting time. “Classes are taught differently depending on the teacher if a class is taught by different teachers you can encounter different teaching styles,” said Summy.
Many parents feel understandably concerned about their children being judged based on tests that, in some cases, don’t seem to reliably correlate with actual learning or with successful college and career outcomes.
According to the College Board, 1.8 million Class of 2017 students took the SAT. Standardized tests create unneeded stress for students, some students can handle stress better than other kids. Standardized tests don’t value creativity, why should a machine grade to see if a human is good at something? Standardized tests don’t care that you’re different from each other and don’t value diversity. “People from different backgrounds or money backgrounds may encounter different challenges,” said Summy.
Some kids may be brought up differently socio-economically or different family backgrounds, but standardized tests treat kids like they are the same. Standardized tests make it seem like the students know the subject well when in fact the students may not have learned anything and just memorized the terms or how to do it., Why should a test compare me to a test taken 30 years ago to which my score is compared to?
If a teacher is going to get paid more if he/she has better test scores on the standardized tests don’t you think the teacher might help his/her students more with the test? That would skew the answers and make the tests inaccurate, why put teachers salaries in the hands of his/her students.
Standardized tests reduce the richness of human experience and human learning to a number or set of numbers. This is dehumanizing. A student may have a deep knowledge of a particular subject but receive no acknowledgment for it because his or her test score may have been low. Standardized tests weren’t developed by geniuses, more mediocre minds.
One of the pioneers of the standardized testing industry was Lewis Terman, a known racist. Who was in favor of eugenics and sterilizations of African Americans. The tests in the ’50s and 60’s made African Americans fail so they couldn’t be in white universities and made to hurt them, rather than help.