The Obama Administration Finally Decides to Cut Down on Testing: It’s About Time

Recently the Obama administration has decided that the amount of standardized testing in schools is “too damn high.” That’s right, the government has finally looked at all of those test scores and realized that there was no correlation between the amount of time spent taking tests and the performance of American students. Someone finally realized that all those tests did not help students, honestly they caused more harm with the stress that they caused. Everyone knows that today’s students are under more stress than the students of the early 2000s due to the increased pace of the curriculum and number of standardized tests.

The administration’s plan, according to CNN, so far is to only allow about two percent of class time to be used for tests. They’ve even realized that the tests sometimes make no sense. “Because so many actors are adopting and requiring tests, you often find a whole portfolio of tests not being very strategic,” says Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of Great City Schools. He also says that tests are “often disjointed and disconnected and incoherent in many ways, and results in a fair amount of redundancy and overlap.”

Being a college student, I know that this doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it affects those in younger generations. I acknowledge this, but I am thankful that another generation of students will not have to go through the amount of stress that I went through in high school. All of those new exams that they forced us to take to verify if they were standard enough to be able to be used to measure thousands of other unfortunate students will soon be no more. Hours of class time will be spent actually learning and applying, instead of memorizing the subject matter and then forgetting it all as soon as the test is done. America will (hopefully) be finally able to catch up to the other super powers of the world when it comes to education.

It has been said that “no single assessment should ever be the sole factor in making an educational decision about a student, an educator or a school.” Students have been thinking this exact thing for years now! Finally adults are realizing that their standardized tests are not doing a good job when it comes to measuring how students are progressing.

According to The New York Times, the administration wants to keep a few tests and make sure that they make sense and that they are fair. The tests that will be kept may include anything from the ACT to the newest addition to America’s long list of standardized test, the PSAE. The administration says that the tests should cover “the full range of relevant state standards,” and cause “complex student demonstrations or applications of knowledge and skills.”

My question is, why now? Why has it taken so long for the government to realize that the current methods for how children in America are taught is not the best way to go about? What caused the government to actually look at what the tests are causing, which is stress, and decide that the education system needs a change? What exactly prompted the Obama administration to even look at what’s happening within the education system? Maybe it’s part of Obama’s last hurrah as POTUS, a plan to go out with a bang. Well, a person can only hope that this change will lead to many positive changes within the school system. As we know, the tests are not the only problem present. This is only one small step towards a better education system here in America. All it took was a few decades.