Ever since I was in kindergarten, I knew that I would be faced with the dreaded FCAT in third grade. For the following 3 years, I would stress about earning myself a passing score, the only way to get promoted to the next grade level. Tell me, why should a six year old have to worry about standardized testing?
The tests were easy to me, so I didn’t mind them too much. Until middle school hit. FCAT became FSA and comprehensive tests were given every four weeks. Not only was this a nuisance on top of regular testing, but these tests determined the classes you would take the next school year. Also, Florida was the ONLY state implementing so many tests.
In eighth grade, I was taking Physical Science Honors, a high school leveled course. Because of the rigor of the class, and the great idea to test the life out of students, I was given four exams…just at the end of the year. These included FCAT Science, FSA Science, a final exam AND an EOCA. The rest of the year was also full of the mini comprehension checks given by the state. The amount of testing between the days prior to FCAT and now has increased too dramatically.
And I get it, standardized tests help figure out how students are progressing. But tests should not be purpose for going to school. At the beginning of this year, I was so excited to learn about all of the cool subjects I had taken. That all changed when I was given my first standardized test; I found that I performed better in a class that actually intrigued me and required me to think rather than one that required me to simply memorize answers for a test.
The past two days I have been taking my Geometry EOCAs. I realized that until “testing season” had begun, I actually enjoyed learning the material in class. Then activities became EOC worksheet after EOC worksheet and I got sick of it.
My point of this whole rant, I suppose, is that students should not have to endure the chaos of the constant testing done in my state, or any state. Tests checking on students’ understanding of the material is totally reasonable, but state-mandated testing every four weeks (in addition to other state standardized tests) is outrageous. We are humans, not machines. We should not have to worry about passing a test for 13 years of our lives.
Oh, and did I mention they’re testing kindergartners now? Yeah, it’s not pretty.