The Current Issue with Standardized Testing

Kristina Sanantonio

      How is the United States’ education system adjusting to a new, unknown, Covid-ridden world?  The answer is not well. The flaws are seen by everyone from administrators and teachers to parents and students. Technology is meant to help aid instruction and facilitate learning.  Computers and access to the internet are now considered by many to be a requirement for school.  While that may be the case, no one foresaw what would happen with Covid-19.  No one could have predicted that schools would be closed, and students and instructors would be forced into “remote learning”.  Yes, online classes have existed for some time, but never like this.  The issues that arise with remote learning are endless and frustrating, but one that stands out to many high school students is standardized testing.   As if taking tests for AP classes and the SAT were not stressful enough, students now have to deal with the stress of taking it online.  The AP test time limits are shorter and are in essay format.  How can you give an inadequate test to a student who has had inadequate instruction on the material due to Covid-19?  More importantly, how do you grade that test?  In my opinion, you simply cannot.  Teaching the material is already hard and requires so much patience.  Having an entire course being all online is rough. You are essentially teaching yourself the material.  Yes, we have Google, but a search engine is no substitute for an actual instructor. Especially with AP courses, students depend heavily on additional help outside of their instructor.  With Covid-19, many of these additional resources have been taken away.  The current senior class have received some updates about taking the SAT in person in October, but that plan is still subject to change.  With the way numbers have been on the rise it is hard to tell if students will be able to take it in person as planned.  The College Board will have to reevaluate their testing procedures to coincide with what is suitable at the time.  That being said, will Covid-19 make the administrators realize we need to reconstruct the education system?  We will just have to wait and see what changes will be made.