Standardized Testing

Arwen Lyonesse

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, some things 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.  It also 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.” These seem 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 student.

Our students, though, have far stronger opinions on the topic. 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, and 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 days or even weeks before. One student says they “get too overwhelmed, so the amount of time spent studying ends up less than it should be there’s too much focus on the worry.”

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 student, giving them what they need to succeed instead of giving everyone the same 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.