Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk


Should the northern Harford County area have its own 'snow zone' for inclement weather days?

  • YES (92%, 60 Votes)
  • NO (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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Standardized testing is impractical

No point in dehumanizing exams

     A majority of educators find that state-mandated standardized tests aren’t useful in the classroom, despite feeling a large amount of pressure to have their students perform well on those exams, according to new data from the EdWeek Research Center.

     Since elementary school, we have taken standardized tests from PARCC, to MCAP, MISA and many more. We have taken tests for math, English, science, and even history. What’s the purpose of them? They don’t even help in the real world, so why do we do them? 

     Standardized tests occur in blank environments. They’re timed, you can’t talk to a fellow student, you can’t ask questions, you can’t use references or learning devices, and you can’t get up and move around. Nothing in the real world is like that. According to EducationWeek, “most hard-headed conservatives will say that education must prepare students for ‘the real world.’” Clearly, standardized testing doesn’t do this; it’s actually the opposite. 

      Standardized tests dehumanize people to a number or set of numbers. It makes people feel they are only a statistic, especially when looking at other people’s numbers that may be higher than yours. It makes no acknowledgement that a person might have a deeper knowledge on a subject.

      Standardized tests don’t provide any feedback on how to perform better. The results aren’t even given back to the teachers and students until months later, and there are no instructions provided by test companies on how to improve these test scores. This provides no help whatsoever to improve, which is useless. 

     They also create stress. Some people do well with a certain level of stress, while others… not so much. According to EducationWeek, “When stress becomes overwhelming, the brain shifts into a “fight or flight” response, where it is impossible to engage in the higher-order thinking processes that are necessary to respond correctly to the standardized test questions.” This unnecessary stress affects people a lot for no reason. 

     These tests are forced upon everyone for many different reasons. However, there’s no way to actually prepare or improve from them. They are just here to give people a number that defines them, even though it shouldn’t. Even teachers agree these tests proved nothing but make the school look better, according to EducationWeek.

     So, there are reasons for these tests; for example, sometimes how well a school performs on the tests determine their funding for the year. According to the Classroom, “A school that consistently fails to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards may not be able to access some grants and other forms of funding, [and] after five years of failure to meet the standards, a school can be closed altogether.” Also, in some schools, when a teacher’s students consistently perform well on standardized tests, she or he may become eligible for a pay raise or bonuses.

     These are really good things that help the school improve, and the teachers get the recognition they deserve; but, these tests allow teachers to teach to the test which limits classroom creativity, and that reduces students’ opportunities to learn skills that aren’t on the test. This restricts the overall learning process and limits the point of school. 

     These standardized tests do have some good benefits, but they overall define a student by a number, which is not okay.

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