The following guest blog was written by Vivienne Owen, a 7th grade student.
Do you think most kids like to take tests? That they like to essentially be in a high pressure situation with their grades at stake? Especially if it is hammered into them that they must do well? This is what the state test has turned into.
As if all the studying for it and pressure isn’t enough stress for kids as young as 7 or 8, now almost the ENTIRE curriculum is based on doing math the way the state will give you credit for, instead of letting kids do it the way they can understand. Writing pieces have to be set up with strict formats that the state likes, discouraging young writers from just getting ideas down and editing later. This can’t be teaching kids much, can it? And most of the time if you do things the way you can do them best, you get in trouble or get points taken off. This is not really achieving school’s purpose, to prepare kids for life and furthermore, it is making intelligent kids feel stupid because they can’t grasp the common core way of doing math, or anything else for that matter, again discouraging intelligent young people.
The test preparations have gotten out of hand, probably because teachers are scared to death of being fired, but they can’t say anything, so they just begin test prep from the first couple weeks of school so the students do well on the test. But students AREN’T LEARNING ANYTHING from this, and isn’t learning the entire purpose of school?
These tests DON’T HELP ANYONE. They are taking away good teachers from students who need them the most. Is this fair to those students? No. And in an already high pressure environment, which tends to make students uneasy, the tests are designed not to test our knowledge but to trick kids so they’ll get questions wrong and fail!! So these tests are really not a very accurate measurement of a student’s intelligence or a teacher’s capability.
The state tests do not affect kids later in life, they are full of trickily worded questions, and curriculum is by far too centered around them. So why are we still taking them? Your kid doesn’t have to. You can send in a letter saying they’re refusing. They can refuse on the day of the test (they should say “I’m refusing, score me a 999 and they should NOT FOR ANY REASON TOUCH THE TEST OR BUBBLE SHEET!) and they can tell their friends. You can donate to the cause, and also post about this on social media, using the hashtags #morethanatestscore and #refusethetest. Your help will greatly benefit public education, and you and your kid have nothing to lose, so why are they still taking the test? Have them REFUSE THE TEST, and maybe soon kids can start LEARNING something in school.