The pressure of standardized testing

Hi, I am Samantha England and I am from a small town outside of Nashville, Tennessee! I attend Tusculum University where I am a sophomore currently. I am a first generation college student, I am on the bowling team, and I am a part of “Pioneer Peers” that mentor incoming freshmen. My major is political science and I am still determining what I am going to minor in. My plan after Tusculum is to attend law school with the goal of becoming a corporate attorney.

I am from a very small town called Dickson that does not have many highschools; in fact, there are only two in the entire county. We were not the most funded highschool, but my educational experience was not a dreary one. Most of my teachers were amazing and genuinely enjoyed inspiring the next generation. However, I did feel the pressure of standardized testing and to perform at a higher level. This forced the teachers to teach to the test rather than teaching the material to inspire innovation. There was material that I did not truly learn, instead, I learned enough to complete the test. 

The first experience I recall with standardized testing was in middle school when common core was first being introduced. It was confusing, unorganized, and affected how I viewed my education. I have always loved school and learning new material. However, when standardized testing was first being introduced, my love for education began to dwindle. I did not feel as if I was actually learning and retaining information; I felt that teachers were teaching us just enough to pass a test that did not have any true significance on my life. Education became about testing rather than creating an environment to inspire the next generation to be innovators. As my education continued, my view on the system became even more pessimistic.  The more standardized testing was being prioritized, the less I felt that true learning was occuring.