Editorial: A Plea for Less Testing


Students taking STAAR Mock test. Photo by Mia Perez

Zachary Roberts, Staff Writer

Over the school year, multiple school-wide tests have been administered to students including the MAP test, STAAR field test, STAAR Mock test, and soon to be actual STAAR test. Moreover, students who are enrolled in AP classes and signed up for their AP tests must also take those at the end of the year. The excessive amount of testing that students receive must be eliminated.

Students should first be administered less tests because excessive testing inhibits classroom instruction. For example, MAP testing took a whole week hostage because there were separate tests for each subject. Teachers subsequently had to rearrange their lesson plans for the following weeks. Teachers already have instructional time limits, and students need all the instruction that they can get. 

School-wide tests should also be administered less frequently because students tend to perform better when tests are spread out and infrequent. Since so many tests are given to students in a short time span, students tend to blow them off rather than taking them seriously. This corrupts the test data that the district insists that they need. Give students less tests and they will take them more seriously. 

Now those in favor of frequent school-wide tests make the claim that such tests give an accurate appraisal of where the school is academically. I admit that school-wide tests can be necessary at times, however, those in favor don’t realize that the frequency of tests affects the students’ performance. This makes the tests more inaccurate in comparison to where the school is at, effectively nullifying the need for such a test in the first place. 

A solution can be found where school-wide testing can still take place, however only once or twice a year. This allows teachers to have their time for instruction and students to not be overwhelmed, allowing for more accurate scores.