The Problems of Excessive Testing

Why is excessive testing such a bad thing?

Estimates suggest that testing can consume up to 25% of an academic year, with some kind of test or test prep. Qualities like creativity and innovation being replaced with a ‘one-size-fits-all‘ approach to learning and a ‘teach-to-the-test’ mentality driving the curriculum. Curriculum is being narrowed to cover only what is on the test and is largely concerned with areas of ELA and math, giving less importance to other subjects.

Testing fosters superficial learning and test prep drives kids to retain information just long enough to pass the test, and then it is easily forgotten and replaced with the next set of information. It does not foster deep thinking and creative problem solving skills. It also teaches kids that there is only one correct answer to a question in academics and in life, when we know that this is rarely the case.

When testing dominates learning, it fosters a deeply seated fear of failure, when in fact making mistakes is a normal part of any learning process. We see both students and teachers reporting various stress-related symptoms. Large numbers of children hate school, and teacher morale is at an all-time low. Standardized tests do nothing to foster a child’s natural love of learning; In fact, it does the opposite.

These tests cost millions in taxpayer money and the additional mandates associated with them cut into our districts’ budgets and force us to make cuts to faculty & staff and other valuable programs. These tests use our children as pawns to judge their teachers and their schools, and they promote the idea that tests scores and data charts are more important than individuals. Standardized testing is an antiquated and unreliable method to judge students, teachers or our schools.

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About Betsy Bloom

Betsy is an Associate Professor of Education at Hartwick College in Oneonta NY. She is also a parent of two, a nine year veteran middle school social studies teacher and the current president of the NYS Foundations of Education Association, an organization dedicated to achieving social justice through public education.
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One Response to The Problems of Excessive Testing

  1. Pingback: What tests will your children be taking? | Oneonta Area For Public Education

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