Standardized Testing

Arwen Collins

For years, standardized testing has been a debate had by many educators and students, but how do those at the Brunswick County Early College really feel about it?

Of course, as a teacher, there are some things that cannot be avoided, standardized testing being one of those, especially in high school classes. When asked if this method of testing was an accurate portrayal of a student’s abilities, a math teacher here at the early college said, “I feel like it gives us a good idea of what they have learned and it gives us a lot of data and feedback to know what we need to teach better… but I also know a lot of students have testing anxiety so I know a lot of them don’t perform as well as what they do in class and what they can do.” This seems to be the general thoughts of teachers that were interviewed. Many teachers believe that while the testing provides good information for the state and helps make some choices moving forward, it is not accurate or fair to each individual student.

Our students, though, have far stronger opinions on the topic. One student, Angel Deras says, “I feel that it [standardized testing] is unfair… what have we done to forsake this world- we should have more projects to enjoy life because stressing about things is not good.” Many other students feel the same way. They don’t like sitting in the same room for hours at a time, completing a repetitive test that was made to trick them. Many students stress about the exams for days or even weeks before. One student says they, “get too overwhelmed, so the amount of time spent studying

So, how do we make testing fair to all students? Another one of our English teachers says that “we should value equity over equality.” Catering to each individual student, giving them what they need to be successful as opposed to giving everyone the same exact treatment regardless of circumstance. An example they used to show how we already do this was giving one student who has a learning disability 90 minutes to take their exam, and a student without, 60 minutes.