Standardized Tests Cause More Harm Than Help 


Ari Watson , Staff

Students across the United States are struggling to study and take tests every day. This not only causes a lot of stress, but many students do not do well with written tests and memorization of information. Standardized testing should not be the only way we measure a student’s academic worth or ability.

During a nine year study the National Research Council found that not only did tests inaccurately measure a student’s performance, but caused a lot of harm. Negative results of testing include narrowed curriculums, loss of student engagement, and teaching only what will be on the test. Standardized testing hurts significantly more than it helps.

The U.S. is the only developed nation to rely heavily on standardized tests. Other countries use performance-based evaluations to assess students. These are evaluations such as such as essays, projects and activities. Ironically, because these countries do not stress teaching to standardized and short-answer tests, they score higher on international exams.

One pro to these standardized tests are that they can create a curricular guideline based on student performance. Though this may be true, in the end it proves to be more harmful. These curricular guidelines become the only thing that is taught and focus moves away from other fundamental areas. 

Instead of all around stressful tests that really never do anything to benefit anyone, we should evaluate students based on what they do in the classroom. Not only would we get more accurate data, but we would also be able to recognize classroom stressors that impact a student’s ability to learn.

Standardized testing has become more of a hot button issue today because we are becoming more aware of the long-term damage it causes. As a country we should look into this problem and come to a less harmful solution. Texas should lead the way in transforming education to better benefit society as a whole.