Are all of these academic progress tests necessary?

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Jillian Scheib, Staff Writer

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Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing were introduced to freshman and sophomores this year at Milford High School, but not only once. The MAP testing is done on a computer and evaluates your progress in math, science, language, and reading. While the MAP testing was in session, all computer labs in the school were occupied by the students, making it hard for teachers to get their classroom access to computers. MAP testing, also referred to as NWEA, can be given to students 4 times a year, but it is usually given to MHS twice a year.

Between the MEAP, ACT, PLAN, and PSAT, the MAP testing really isn’t necessary for any grade. I understand that tracking progress throughout the year is important, but there are other ways to evaluate the progress that don’t involve multiple days of testing.

Most students in High School, to be honest, don’t care about the tests that they are not graded on or could possibly fail them. Once you begin freshman year of High School, the MEAP becomes a joke to most students because they know that there are no consequences to slacking or doing poorly on the test. There is a lot of stress based around random tests given throughout the year. The ACT is important and absolutely necessary, so obviously that is not something schools can ever get rid of. But, simple tests that involve career or progress recording don’t do much at all, especially when the student doesn’t care about the tests or even the results.

According to Huffingtonpost.com, a recent study calculated a total cost of $1.7 billion dollars a year spent on standardized testing. This billion includes necessary tests as well as not so important tests. I believe the cost could be cut back tremendously by getting rid of “progressive” tests more than once a year. Testing takes away time in class and most students don’t see the point in receiving the results. I know that students feel anxious when they hear about any testing that goes on and it just adds more stress to the quizzes/tests done in regular classes. $27 per student each year for grades 3-9 on standard tests. But, in Columbia it changes to an exhausting $114 per student. (huffingtonpost) Breaking it down makes it sound not so drastic, but when you put it in perspective, it’s really not helping any students achieve any more than they already are achieving.

There are positives and negatives of testing in High School. The ACT and MME are needed and obviously important. But, when you get a list of any other test that is given to a student during the High School years, you don’t see reason for them. Kids will miss classes to take the test, feel stressed, then receive their results and either get upset, be surprised, or not care at all. And that’s the thing; it’s over with after you receive your results. The ACT is a test that travels with you to college, but tests like the MEAP don’t do anything for your future or even the present moment. I believe that tests tracking progress in High School is unnecessary, silly and a waste of money.  There are other priorities for High Schools and I feel that they should be reevaluated.

 

 

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