Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Texas student's testimony on standardized testing

From Houston Chronicle
Updated 08:26 p.m., Friday, April 13, 2012
Sad testimony on testing 
There have been many articles and news reports over the past few months about the effects of standardized testing on schools in Texas.

I am a ninth-grade student attending a Houston Independent School District school, and I'm in pre-AP classes and one AP class. I haven't written this to complain about the testing because I don't like it or because it's hard; I've written this letter because I am angry, disappointed and concerned. Testing has disrupted schedules to the point where teachers can't teach, and I can't learn.

In my pre-AP English class for this year, we have read one novel ("Ender's Game"), one short story ("The Most Dangerous Game") and one play ("Romeo and Juliet"). None of these works was really discussed because we had to prepare for the STARR test instead. 

I also had practice testing and spent five solid hours in a room for several days. It took about two hours for the actual practice test; the rest of the time I read, others slept. There was no learning, no biology class, no English class, no math class. Before and during this, we were learning "Romeo and Juliet," and it took us more than five weeks to read it and we never discussed it, courtesy of testing and practice testing.