Stopping state testing would help students’ mental health 

Kayla Lord, Guest Reporter

You walk into school the very first day of third grade and one of the first things your teacher says to you is “Oh by the way, for the next six months we will be practicing/ studying for a big test that you need to do well on. Now let’s start with an all about me activity!” Now obviously this is not exactly how it happens, but it’s pretty close. 

From third grade until the year we graduate we are forced to take state tests, whether it’s the PSSA or the Keystones, these tests are to show how well we are performing in school. See now I thought that was what grades are for but I guess that isn’t enough. Instead we sit through two to three weeks of testing, and we try and try our hardest and hope it’s enough. The state just needs to know where we are in a matter of academics and how we are performing. The state doesn’t consider how everyone doesn’t do well on tests, kids’ anxiety about taking tests, too much pressure on kids, etc. Instead they assume all that matters is what information we can retrieve and put back onto a piece of paper. 

If the state just focused on grades and stopped the state testing it would be more accurate. It’s not like we don’t take tests at all, we still test in our everyday schedule. These go with our grades so that we can measure how we are performing and what we are retrieving. How we are performing can also be measured by assignments given in class, because we are also thinking about past things we learned and putting it down to be looked at and graded. This can alleviate stress from students who struggle with taking tests. This can allow them to not have to sit through four hours of silence, everyday for two to three weeks. It can decrease how much pressure is on them and help alleviate their anxiety.

Kayla Lord