Friday, April 4, 2014

thoughts on standardized testing

Howdy y'all! Today's topic is on a subject I could rant about for hours, as could most kids my age. Today's topic, is standardized testing.

This week, in my school, we took our state's math and reading tests. Fortunately enough for me, I wasn't obligated to take the math test due to the fact that I am a grade ahead in math class. I did have to take the reading test though, and can I just say, that I am ashamed of the fact that my state would publish such a horrible test.

Grammar errors, so many. I'm not saying I don't slip up every once in a while, but honestly, if you can't write it, don't teach it. None of the stories had an actual plot line, and they were all horribly written. A third grader could have written a better story. And the questions! For heaven's sake, write a question that can actually be answered. They all had ambiguous meanings, and multiple answers that could have been used. Most of them didn't even have anything to do with the context of the story. Don't ask me to tell you the climax of the story if there was no climax to the story!

Now I know I'm just some random kid and I should try to write those tests myself and it's hard work and all that jazz, but I actually have some pretty good ideas about how we could make the tests, and scores, better. Why not try giving stories that actually appeal to the kids? Excerpts from young adult books, by professional writers. Stories that have a plot line, good vocabulary, and correct grammar usage. That way, kids will pay more attention to the stories and questions, resulting in better scores. It could also help kids who refuse to go to the library and check out a book. This way they'll see an excerpt from a story, love it, and go check out the book. I understand copyright could be an issue, but I'm sure there are plenty of writers who would love to do this service to the schools or even write a new little short story for the tests.

Another way to make the tests better is to use real news articles about current events. I'm not talking about conservation of wetlands (while that is important), but the issues in Russia or an election coming up. Many students are never edified on this type of issue and it is good for kids to know about what's happening. Most kids in my school couldn't even tell you who the vice president is! Doing this could also help students figure out what their own political beliefs are, or spark conversations about more that just who likes who.

To finish off, who really needs standardized testing anyway! Nobody likes it, and it's a waste of BILLIONS of dollars that could be used to fund stall doors that actually lock, or textbooks (my school was too cheap to give us any this year). It stresses kids out way more than it should, and how hard we work should determine our future, not a stupid packet of paper.

Tell me your thoughts on standardized testing below! Are you for, or against?

Have a great day!

P.S. My friend Maddy recently started a blog, and it's really rad! Go check it out at

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