Statewide tests have plagued high schools for years, often implemented to identify where students’ skills lack or excel to benefit the curricula of incoming students. While its intent is well meant, the effects of these tests infamously take their toll on high school attendees.
When the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) test was introduced as a new benchmark for the Colorado school districts, students attending Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado chose to protest rather than comply with the state’s requirements. Over 300 students stood outside the building that housed the school’s testing to rally against it, as only 7 seniors sat inside and took the test.
“I think the main part of the frustration is the fact that there was not student input, especially from seniors, about this testing,” said Jennifer Jun, a senior at Fairview High School. Although students should not be given the right to make such decisions, students should be able to have their voices heard before a decision is reached.
Contrary to popular belief, the test itself does not stand alone among the reasons behind student discontent with numerous state tests and their requirements. Time and money also play equal roles in the teens’ struggle to stay afloat amid the massive tidal wave of homework, sports, and extracurricular activities they are expected to face everyday.
The apparently mere “seven hours out of the 1080 hours during the year [we are asking them to give] in order to benefit the students that are coming next, should be graciously provided,” said Colorado Department of Education’s executive director of assessment Joyce Zurkowski. In a student’s world, seven hours could mean the difference between an ‘A’ or an ‘F’ on a final exam or project.
Simply put, adults greatly underestimate the pressures that is exerted on the present-day-pupil, due to the exceedingly more difficult agenda faced today in respect to school forty years ago.
Economically, the state pays for the distribution of district testing with taxes– taxes that rise in cost along with a rise in testing. As tests are never few and far between, a significant portion of state duties are already defined by education fees, whose rise has dire effects on struggling families.
Although one can never be too educated or too learned, one CAN reach a breaking point. So do we really want to find it?