Standardized Testing

Sahar Sebghati, Reviews Editor

Every year that dreaded time of state testing approaches. By the time you’re in high school you’re used to the Iowa Assessments and can go about it without fear. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not annoying. It can seem to many that spending over a week taking tests is useless since it doesn’t feel like it directly affects our lives. Does it?

The new name, Iowa Assessments, replaced the previous name, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, or ITBS. These tests give you accurate data about your yearly academic growth. Except sometimes it’s not very accurate because students don’t try enough.

They don’t try because it doesn’t seem like an honest representation of student growth. Your test score in no way changes any aspect of your life so actually attempting to put forth effort seems like a waste of time and energy.

Teachers always tell students that state testing helps your school and gives teachers a correct portrayal of where the student is academically, but it doesn’t seem like they ever do anything with that information. Do they? Although it may not seem like it, state testing is actually very beneficial to students and the schools.

The Iowa Assessments can help prepare you for college by provide useful information about your academic level, at 0 cost to you, since you don’t have to pay for them (which is unlike the ACT and SAT.) According to a report by McKinsey & Company in 2010, “20 school systems that “have achieved significant, sustained, and widespread gains” on national and international assessments used “proficiency targets for each school” and “frequent, standardized testing to monitor system progress.”

Even when there is proven data about the advantages to testing, many high achieving even students say they don’t mind getting very low grades on their tests because there is no reason to put forth effort.

“Students are encouraged to not try because they feel like it doesn’t count. So whats the point?” shared junior Ali Sandler. Her opinion reflects the opinion of many other students, and no matter how much reinforcement teachers give, their attempts may prove ineffective.

So until students are able to see the effects Iowa Assessments do have on their everyday lives, mass amounts of effort on the assessments may be not be seen for awhile.