Higher Scores, Lower Achievement
Every year, students are subject to two weeks of menial testing to determine whether they or their schools are competent enough to hold their own among America’s developing education system. Before college, these students face even more tests that ultimately have the power to determine their futures entirely. Through a system of comparison, students are being ranked according to what the government considers “intellect.” This method of ranking and comparing students and schools has led to the disillusionment of many students and teachers. When students become just a number, they lose sight of why they are learning in the first place. Traditional methods of teaching have been taken over by a system of memorization and repetition in order for students to achieve higher scores on these tests. Standardized Testing has created alternative techniques for students to “cheat” tests such as the SAT and forces teachers to change their curriculum to fit the tests. Ultimately, it has taken away from the integrity of America’s education system instead of encouraging students to become free thinkers.
Standardized Testing has transformed from a simple evaluation of the successfulness of students and teachers into one of the deciding factors of where students will go to college, which schools will get funded, and which teachers will keep their jobs. According to Bobbie Solley, a professor in the Department of Elementary and Special Education at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, “Tests are not simply what teachers give at the end of the year. They are now attached to high stakes, such as grade retention, admittance into special programs, graduation, admission into college, and whether or not schools remain open and teachers get to keep their jobs” (Solley). What was originally meant to simply check on the