The cons of SATs


Kelsey Griffin, Staff Reporter

Idaho Standards Achievement Tests are used to track the progress for students’ learning. They are split up into three parts and given towards the end of the year. It’s used to measure if students are ready for college and schools progression on learning.


They also take up time and over regulate what teachers are allowed to teach. Teachers must follow closely to what the state allows them to teach in order to prepare their students for what they are going to test on. It cuts back creativity and hinders a student’s learning potential. Students’ knowledge and capabilities should not be measured based on a test that we are not usually prepared for. Some students may exel in the classroom but do poorly on standardized testing because they are not familiar with the format or they develop test anxiety.


These tests take up hours of time, staring at a screen in a small classroom. They become tedious and difficult for students to be fully ready and in the right mindset. Brenda Brenda Koenig, a writer of Smile Politely said, “The emphasis on testing, especially in the poorer public schools, has virtually eliminated student-centered and active learning, and drastically reduced the amount of time teachers can teach history, science, geography, art, music, and physical education, among other ills.”


A federal study found that about a third of states lowered their academic proficiency standards recently. ISATs are what show the federal government how well we are doing in school. Based on Idaho’s test scores they chose to lower our testing standards, like lowering the score for receiving proficient on an ISAT. This makes our standards lower than other states and makes our schools lousy in comparison. Students who are getting higher test scores still have their levels lowered because these tests don’t represent our schools properly. The whole system is off.


Standardized testing also becomes political. Charter schools and public schools are competing for the same federal funds. Educators and politicians have to look at test scores to decide. Derrick Meador, a school administrator in Oogolah, Oklahoma said, “Some opponents of testing argue that low-performing schools are unfairly targeted by politicians who use academic performance as an excuse to further their own agendas.”


Instead of being an accurate representation of our intelligence, they are a measurement of how many tutors you can buy and how many books you can read, so that you can increase your score and college options. There are so many other ways to measure our intelligence and learning capabilities that do not include this loss of creativity and added stress.