Standardized testing is a hot topic in Texas and around the world. The tests are put in place to assess whether or not students are retaining the information they are learning in the classroom.
The state of Texas has required students to take state mandated tests ever since 1980 when the TABS test was implemented. Texas began using the TEAMS test in 1986. In 1990, they changed to the TAAS tests. In 2003, the state started using the TAKS test. Students have been taking the STAAR test since the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.
As a student who had to take standardized tests including the TAAS and TAKS tests, I understand the arguments against them. There are students who have trouble taking tests. So when you require them to pass these tests in order to advance to the next grade, or even graduate for that matter, it can be a lot of pressure.
I do believe that these tests help to see if students are retaining the information. I just think that they need to be tweeked. There has to be a better way to go about it.
I think if the stakes were lowered, the students would benefit more from taking these tests. It would put less pressure on them, and the results might even improve. If a student does poorly on one of the tests, then the educators know what information they are retaining and what they need to spend more time on.
I am sure I am not the first to propose this solution. There would still be problems if there was nothing at stake. At some point, students would stop taking the tests seriously. This would obviously skew the results. I believe this problem would mainly occur with older students. I do not think the younger students do not truly understand the importance of these tests when they take them every year.
When it comes down to it, there is no doubt in my mind that something needs to be done about the standardized tests in the state of Texas and the U.S. for that matter. I just hope that students can reep the benefits of them without feeling the pressures the tests bring.