By Joe Gullo

With AP testing just around the corner, many students are beginning to cram and adjust their study habits in hopes of getting a 4, or maybe even a 5. But at the prospect of standardized testing many people are questioning its effectiveness. Is it right to teach students about just a test, if we can track their progress against one another? As far as I am concerned, standardized testing creates unnecessary stress, and competition while also adversely harming the low-income students. The United States should adjust away from standardized testing and instead focus on helping students later on in their lives.

The first problem with standardized testing is that it places unnecessary stress on the students, and doesn’t help prepare them for the real world. For example, in a situation in which a student is subjected to 4 or 5 hours of homework each night we can easily see the correlation between the number of dropouts and the amount of homework. The problem that we see is that standardized testing either discourages students from trying to learn and makes them burn out; or alternatively they waste all of their time learning information just for the sake of passing a test. School is supposed to help students segue into adult life, however in the status quo we infringe on that ability.

The second problem that comes about with standardized testing is harms to low-income people. Not only are people in low-income areas subjected to worsened education, but they have almost no chance of getting out of these situations. For example, one argument for standardized testing is that you can see which areas are failing and subsidize them. However, very frequently the subsidies are used as bonuses for teachers or go to wealthier areas or stay in the government. Plus, people have to pay for the tests that they take which is a much larger harm for low-income people.

Overall, standardized testing is a good idea. But low-income people are adversely harmed, and people are overly stressed with very little pay off. And every single benefit of standardized testing could just be done on a much smaller scale. Standardized testing inflict huge costs, with very little payoff.