The Grand Introduction and a Perspective on Standardized Testing

Hello! My name is Aaron Phillips. I am a Sophomore this year, so I am still going strong for the most part. I have settled with Political Science as my major and am finally starting to get comfortable on where I am at. Most American institutions have some aspect of Political Science and our education system is no exception to that.

I was raised in Greeneville TN, a mostly rural community with a total of five high schools just in case some were unfamiliar to the area. My educational background was that of an extremely competitive mindset starting about Sophomore year of high school with anything less than an A as a failure and something to be immediately improved upon. This was instilled from parents that who pushed me to consider the future more than the present as well as a traditionalist curriculum at my high school which only promoted mindsets like mine. This is especially so with the ACT.

The ACT was my first true experience with standardized testing in my eyes and was the only test at the time that my high school promoted. Every year, when the juniors and seniors took the ACT, the school’s average would be announced as well as annually competing with the other four schools around the county as well as regionally at some points to promote taking the test seriously. Studying for the ACT was an absolute chore for me and along with many other factors, could personally explain my distaste for the national focus onto standardized testing. I understand why these systems are in place, but school should be for education and or preparation for the “real world” with skills that will benefit people for the rest of their lives. Focusing on standardized tests prevents students from actually gaining skills that will help them later in life and to instead focus on a test that not only will prohibit higher institutions but also fails to measure academic predictions as there are many students whose ACT scores do not reflect their GPA.

By the end of the semester, I am hoping to have a better understanding on how the current institutions got into place and have some possible solutions and or explanations for many questions I have regarding the education system.