Too much testing is counterproductive

Editorial Board

As May comes to a close, AP students can finally begin to relax and drift through their last days of school.  Unfortunately, AP tests will still be there to haunt underclassmen in future years.

In fact, with new elementary school regulations, AP students are not the only ones to be forced to sit through such long, painful tests.  New York has increased the scope and number of standardized tests, that now begin as early as third grade.  These tests are intended to provide teachers with clearer educational goals and to grade teachers’ effectiveness based on the scores of their students.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative currently targets English and mathematics, forcing public school students to participate in long, exhaustingly difficult tests.  The system lays out specific standards for each grade from kindergarten to eighth in these subject areas.

Students may only begin to wonder whether AP tests will transition to such a system in future years where teachers are judged based on their students’ performance.  If so, many will grow unhappy with the pressure placed upon them by teachers to do well.

The Schreiber Times believes that teachers should not be graded based on the testing performance of their students.  Teachers are assigned students with a wide variety of test-taking skills, and who absorb material at different levels.  Thus, it is impossible to judge them equally.

The Schreiber Times also feels that the superfluous testing provides a disservice to students at all grade levels   Teaching to the test is not as effective as it may appear, such that students retain less information.  Additionally, students must suffer through harsh testing environments.  A third grader should not be forced to sit for a one and half hour math test.

While testing is necessary to a certain degree, current standardized tests are becoming excessive and harmful to teachers and students alike. The Schreiber Times does not support the APPR program, and the increase in standardized and SLO tests throughout the state and district.