While I 100% agree that we as educators need a way to assess our students, I don't think that standardized tests are the way to go.
Here are a few of the reasons I think standardized tests are horrible:
- They sometimes require my students to sit quietly for over an hour starting at 8 in the morning. Invitation to sleep, anyone?
- Nowadays, many standardized tests are taken on computers, which means when the school internet is laggy (as it often is), it can affect test scores.
- Standardized tests are often only loosely related (or not related at all) to what is actually happening in the classroom, which means, despite what some legislators think, it is a horrible way to assess teachers ability to teach.
- It makes teachers want to teach to the test, not to the standards or the students.
- It values simple multiple-choice answers rather than contemplative, critical analysis or personal interpretation.
- Days spent testing are days the students are not spending learning.
- It often takes so long to get test results back that teachers can't actually adjust their teaching for the particular group of students being tested.
- It causes some students unnecessary stress.
- The language some tests use (including common sayings and idioms) are easier for some students to understand than others, and the teachers never know what language the students might encounter.
- It's boring.