Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Aug. 9, 2022

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Letter: High-stakes testing is detrimental

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Your June 9 editorial (In Our View — Flunk Exam for Biology) contained, in my view, two faulty assumptions about educating public school students. You wrote that such “accountability” measures should not be removed, comparing this to the idea that “future employers would (not) be sympathetic to an employee saying they failed a task because they do not perform well under pressure.”

First, educating students is not job training. While public schools do prepare students for handling workplace pressures, that’s one of many aspects of receiving an education. Getting a basic education, learning how to be a citizen, and learning to think critically are just some of the perhaps more important roles that a public school education can play in someone’s life.

Second, nearly all public school students who take tests are not yet adults, and should not be treated as such. We certainly shouldn’t compare them to workers in a workplace. Public school students taking high-stakes tests are also dealing with typical or perhaps atypical teenage home issues, finding who they are, daily sports practices, mood swings, and trying not be an in-person or online social pariah.

Particularly in today’s world, kids need to be kids. Let’s give them that chance, and give them a break. High-stakes testing has never been a good idea, and it’s even worse today.

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