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The Occidentalist

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Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
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Should Standardized Testing Be Mandatory?

 Standardized testing has been around in the United States since the mid-1800s when a Boston school implemented this idea by making one test to judge and compare each school. It was soon adopted by school systems nationwide, and the use of standardized testing rapidly increased after President Bush signed the 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which made standardized testing mandatory in all 50 states. 

  The SAT and PSAT is a common standardized test that students take here at West, and many people in the school dread the day they have to come take the test. It can be very stressful for teens to sit in a crowded room and take a three to four hour long test, especially if they are hoping to get a good grade for college. Although it may seem like a burden to students throughout the U.S., standardized testing greatly benefits school systems around the country and tracks a student’s individual growth.

  Because many colleges like to see high scores on standardized testing like the SAT, there’s a lot of pressure on students to do well on the tests. There are a lot of things that could go wrong for students taking the test. For example, they could just be tired from studying late the night before, there could be something going on at home that they’re distracted by and many other endless possibilities. Of course, standardized testing shouldn’t be the only important thing colleges look at when evaluating a student. There are a lot of things that a student does during their time in high school and it may seem that one test provides a poor representation of individuals. There are many debates regarding whether or not standardized testing should be banned, but in this specific situation, the good may outweigh the bad. 

  When the NCLB Act was passed, the intention was not to stress out students and make them feel like their worth was determined by a test score. That seems to be a common misconception in society that should be repressed. Rather, it was made to measure different school districts’ success in education to improve the academic quality of school districts around the nation. The use of standardized testing has helped set a higher standard for schools, ultimately improving the quality of U.S. education. The information that is gained from students taking standardized tests is extremely valuable and therefore necessary. 

  Not only is the data gathered from standardized tests useful for the federal and state governments, but it is also helpful for students. Even though it may seem miserable while taking the test, it’s a great tool to track improvement and knowledge. Performing under pressure is a relevant life skill and can help improve students’ test scores. It can also display growth depending on the student. Many students like to see how they’ve improved over time and like to keep track of their test scores. 

  While standardized testing can seem like a disturbance to a student’s life, it is in place for a reason. The idea behind standardized testing is to enhance kids’ learning experience, not to disrupt it. In the long run, it gives the schools the details they need to make their educational processes the best it can be. 

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Audrey Kohler, Social Media Specialist, Business Manager
Audrey Kohler is a Junior in her first year of newspaper. She decided to take this class because she wanted to try something new. Audrey is currently a reporter for the newspaper team. Outside of school, she enjoys running and hanging out with friends and family.

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