The Problem with Standardized Tests

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The Problem With Standardized Testing
Erik Meyer

Right now, a student and his parent are leaving parent-teacher conferences and are in a heated debate, and the student asks, "Why do I have to study subjects that I'll never use again?" His mother will stand there blank-eyed, and think for a moment and lie, saying, "You know, in order to get a good job you need a good degree, and these subjeccts will help you get that good degree. You know, I never had this opportunity when I was younger." He will reply, "But mother, you were young a long time ago." She woun't respond, all though what he implies makes perfect sense, that societies needs would have changed since she was sixteen years old. However, she will ignore him, grip his hand more sternly, then drag him to the car. What she doesn't know is that she didn't ignore him just to shut him up. She didn't lie because she had just returned from hearing her son's poor school report. No, instead she lied because she didn't know any better herself. Although throughout her adult life she has never used nor applied Pythagora's theorem and still doesn't know the value of x, she will rely on society to tell her that her child, who has one of the sharpest minds in the school, is hyperactive, unfocused, and easily distracted.

Students, how many equations, names, and dates have you memorized just before an exam never to use again? How many A grades did you get which were never opt for when applying for a job? How many times have you remembered something five minutes after the teacher said stop writing, only to recieve your results one month later to see that you were marked one point short of having the top grade? Does that mean that remember five minutes earlier would have made you more qualified for a particular job? Well, on an application form it would have. We all have different abilities, thought processes, and genes. So why is a class full of individuals tested based upon the same means? If this issue is not...
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