I propose that schools reduce the amount of tests students are required to take. The amount they must take right now is ridiculous. They spend half the school year preparing to take the tests and the other half actually taking the tests. The solution should be simple enough – just cut down how many exams the students must pass to graduate. In Connecticut, students are required to take a series of state tests, called the CMTs, every other year from grades one through eight. Then, as students enter ninth grade, they have to start preparing to take the state-mandated CAPT in Reading, Writing, Math and Science that they must pass to graduate. And if they don’t pass, they just continue taking the tests until they do.
Florida is similar. Students there must not only take the state-mandated FCATs to graduate, but for many courses they must pass end-of-course (EOC) exams as well. Sarah spent most of the last semester of her class with students missing from her classes just to take these tests. How can students be expected to learn if they are constantly missing lessons to take more tests. No wonder students are struggling in Sarah’s class.
I am not against testing. Tests in schools are important general indicators of where students are and where they should be. It also lets a school see if a student is truly ready to graduate. However, there is such a thing as too much testing, especially when it begins to interfere with a student’s overall education.
I propose that there only be one series of tests that cover all general areas of education. This test should be standardized nationwide. One series of tests for all 50 states. Because how can we be expected to compare education standards across states if there is no one standard to judge students by. These tests should be enough to determine if students have learned what they need to graduate high school and move on to the next stage of their life. Because if we continue to test the students too much, these students will stop learning and developing, instead becoming content just to regurgitate what they need to pass the tests.