My children have been in 3 school systems over the years and have experienced standardized testing. The last school system they were in I did not like the testing they had. They had this test once a year, NECAP, and many students have difficulty with this testing. I realize the results show where the students are deficient but feel this is not a true reading of the students’ abilities because I have experienced over the years how some students excel in standardized testing and some fail even though they know the material.
Now in Texas they have TAKS testing. The teachers gear their lesson plans towards what is on this test. They have mock TAKS tests for the kids to get used to the testing, learn from it. If they do not do well on the mock TAKS testing they are asked to take TAKS tutorials during the year. This is wonderful support for the kids and they feel better about taking the tests. My children do not feel half the anxiety they have felt over the past years with the standardized testing with these TAKS tests. I am also told that these tests are a measure of how well the teacher is doing as well and that is a good idea too. Certain grades such as 8th and 11th grade you are required to pass the TAKS test in order to advance to the next year and will have many chances to do that as well as a summer program to help.
There is a need for standardized testing to evaluate the school system, its teachers and see how the kids are doing compared to the overall national average and I get that. I just feel that there should be just more support to the students before taking them such as the Texas school system does. The anxiety is high without support and then when they see their numbers if they are low they feel like a failure when many times it is just that they are not good at standardized testing.
I am happy that the SAT, ACT are not as important to the college acceptance process as they used to be many years ago. It measures the student but it is not the only measure of whether a student should be accepted into college as there are so many other factors to look at. I like the ACT as it covers grammar,math, science, reading and writing. The SAT only covers math and English which limits students. At least with the ACT the student has a wide range of subjects and can excel in some of them.
So to summarize I know there is a need for this testing but feel there should be support in place for the students and not so much emphasis placed on the scores.