Standardized tests have long been a point of contention among many parents. And it’s not just the parents who are worried, it’s the kids, too–anxiety levels have increased among school children 11% according to a 2009 study. Finally, however, there’s a reason test administrators have to start listening to parents: President Obama agrees that there’s just too many standardized tests.
In a video posted to the White House Facebook page, Obama called for a cap on the number of standardized tests children take each year, stating he’ll be “aggressively” working with the Department of Education to bring back creativity in the classroom, promote good teaching, and decrease redundancy, because “learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble.” Amen to that.
Did you know that the average child takes about 112 standardized tests between pre-K and 12th grade, according to the Washington Post? That’s basically eight standardized tests per year, which means it’s no surprise that kids are getting anxiety–they have no time to learn for learning’s sake.
Another study by CNN reports a whopping 53% of parents say their elementary-aged kids are stressed by homework and testing, while a Yale study showed the majority of the 22,000 high school students surveyed felt tired or stressed when they’re at school. Oy.
So yes, it’s about time someone started taking parents’ and kids’ stress levels seriously and started questioning who the tests are benefitting, because it’s surely not the students. Or the teachers, who dedicate more teaching time to tests than the curriculum (and I know, because I used to be one). If students are stressed out all the time, they’re not really learning. And really, why would anyone need more than 25 hours of standardized testing (AKA pointless bubble filling) per school year anyway?