Time and time again, the importance of repeated testing is ground into students, parents, and everyone in our county. The primary reasons for continual tests are to have better standards to judge teachers based on and to shape curriculum according to the needs of students. Then, these test scores are simply put on display like a trophy and are hardly ever used to make decisions that benefit students.
For students in high school, testing is a fact of life. Advanced Placement courses and tests are taken by nearly every student at one point or another, and these scores are used to get into some of the top schools in the nation. SAT and ACT scores are used for the same purpose. All of these tests are useful tools to gauge course material mastery and readiness for college. But what about the other tests high schoolers are required to take? AIMS tests, which are administered on a quarterly basis, are tossed to the side in class and are used to waste a day most often. District End of Course (DEOC) exams are equally as useless, and are simply adding more requirements for teachers to teach to and students to memorize. Constant testing has been proven countless times to only add more stress to students and to take away valuable instruction time in the classroom.
For students in elementary and middle school, while testing is rigorous, it is still too frequent to be useful measures of a student’s ability to learn and their intelligence, and is rather a measure of a student to memorize content for a year and then forget it by the time the test is finished.
Many of these tests are mandated by the State of Florida, and thus voting at the county level can have very little impact. But what this county needs is a fighter to bring the concerns felt here and across the state to Tallahassee, to our state representative and senator, and for our county to stand amongst other in solidarity against the tedious task of testing.
As for test mandated by the county, perhaps there is a better solution. Perhaps the solution should be one day of testing at the end of each level of schooling, elementary, middle, and high school which is intended to combine the knowledge students have and have them apply it in a simple yet thought-provoking multiple choice exam. This alternative testing method could lead to less stress, and give teachers more time for instruction as the school years comes to a close.