Every year thousands upon thousands of children, ages seven and upwards sit down to take their scheduled standardized tests. This generation has been classified as the most tested in history. "Its progress through childhood and adolescence" has been "punctuated by targets, key stages, attainment levels, and qualifications" ("Stalin in School" 8). Each year the government devises a new standard and then finds a way to test how each student measures up to this standard. They have come to the conclusion that the easiest way to chart the success of school reform is to follow the results of standardized testing. But rating education strictly by the numbers is the wrong way to measure a process as complex as learning,
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As the weight of standardized tests increase, so does the stress. Many students are feeling overly stressed by the vast number of tests they are expected to take and pass. It is pounded into them that this is your future, if you do well you will succeed in life or if you fail your life will follow. This stress has caused thousands of high school dropouts who get overwhelmed and don't feel they can make the grade. Some students get fed-up and at certain points become noncompliant. But the students aren't the only ones who are affected by the stress of testing. According to Clarke, "The pressure has been so intense some teachers have even been caught cheating with their students" (1). This shows the amount of stress that has been put on teachers to teach to the test, and cover all the material that might be on it. The teachers know that if their students' grades come back below average that their job can be in jeopardy. So in turn, by administering these tests we are inflicting stress that can lead to such things as teachers helping students cheat and students feeling so overwhelmed they give up and take the easy way out.
As we see standardized testing creates problems at all grade levels, they are especially harmful in the primary grades. During the students younger years their learning is at its most uneven stage. Students must create a strong