Testing is Taking Over


My brother, Oliver Freedman, doing a practice FSA on Iready.

Lucy Freedman, Contributor

One hundred and twelve. That’s the amount of standardized tests that a typical teenager takes by the time they graduate high school. From seven years of the FSA to End of Year(EOC) to makeups, to AP exams to AICE.

Florida students are subjected to more and more time preparing, stressing, and taking tests. And it’s about to get worse.

Governor Desantis signed into law a new bill that eliminates the FSA, and replaces one test with three new tests called FAST(Florida Assessment of Student Thinking) and according to the governor, these tests will monitor students’ progress throughout the year. Desantis’s claim was to eliminate standardized testing, but he ultimately just created more.

According to the CDC, students ages eleven to fourteen spend nine hours or more looking at screens each day. My sister is in eighth, and she will be taking more standardized tests this year, than any other year spent in school. She will take the FSA for reading and writing, along with the EOC for math, and science.

Meanwhile, my brother is in 7th grade, and he will take the FSA as well for reading and writing, and a math EOC. That doesn’t include the preparation. Both my siblings take practice FSAs in front of the computer, and my brother is forced to take Ireadys, which are online practice tests for math and reading. Almost all of these tests are computerized. That is way too much screen, children already have too many screens with their phones, TVs, Ipads, and other devices. 

Also, these tests are taking hours of class time away. 

According to The Federation of Teachers, students spend 20-50 hours per year taking standardized tests, and they can spend 60 to more than 110 hours per year in test prep for these big tests. This takes away from their actual learning. School should be about learning and gaining knowledge and valuable lessons that will help them in the future. Taking away from class time to stress students out with these big tests is not doing anything to help them.

These tests don’t teach the students the practical lessons that students need to have for their future.

According to the Student Success Network,  a community of nonprofits working together to help improve the outcomes of students, students miss out from learning key skills that aren’t taught in tests and a few examples are: conversation skills, time management skills, and learning by doing.

FAST will take one test and make it three. That means more prep, more stress, and less class time. Instead of FAST, there should be no more standardized testing and just have the students focusing on learning.

The state should trust the teachers to teach the students everything they should know. In class, students should be tested on what they are learning daily by the teachers, and not big tests by the state.

According to the Florida Department of Education, to graduate high school in the 90s, students only were required to pass one test at the end of the year.

Since then, these tests have been progressing more and more each year, and it is continuing to increase by the new Destantis bill.