Column: Barack Obama Standardized Testing: Too many tests or not enough?

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Kelsey P.

Kelsey P.

Stories have been popping up everywhere about President Barack Obama’s statement that students are taking too many standardized tests. I agree with Obama; there are several standardized tests students have to take throughout their schooling career. Many of those tests have a tremendous effect on students. Students do take too many tests, such as NeSA, MAPS, Dibbles, and John Baylor ACT Test Prep. All the time spent preparing for and taking these tests take away from general instruction time, time we should be using to learn curriculum relevant to our current class and grade level. I was surprised at first, even shocked.

People are agreeing with Obama too. Many parents are upset over how many tests their students are taking. Various parents, when comparing society today with society from when they were younger, worry about their students and how they’re going to act when they get out of school. Did their son/daughter learn what he/she needed to know throughout his/her classes to be responsible, productive adults? Or was there too much time and focus taken away from learning for these standardized tests?

According to the 2016 presidential campaign, between Pre-K and grade 12 in big-city schools, students take a total of 112 standardized exams. According to USA Today, to curb excessive testing, “Obama recommends limiting standardized exams to no more than 2% of a student’s instructional time in the classroom.” Also, “The average amount of time devoted to taking mandated tests during the 2014-2015 school year was 4.2 days, or 2.3% of school time, for the average eighth grader–the grade with the most mandated testing time.” On average, grades 9-12 take a total of nine tests.

Not only are parents agreeing with Obama, students are too. Students are worried about how these tests are going to affect them in the future. This is a huge weight that students carry around. Teachers agree with Obama too. Teachers have to worry about how much time they have for instruction until it comes time for students to take standardized tests. They also have to worry about if we understand the curriculum. In summary, teachers worry and could relax and release the pressure they have to fit their curriculum in a short span of time. I agree with President Barack Obama: students take too many standardized tests today.