“Less testing, more learning.”
For educators in Maryland, this has become the campaign moniker in their advocacy against what they feel is an outdated practice in Maryland’s education system.
The campaign includes 10 educators throughout the state who feel that testing has become too high of a priority in schools. In turn, time is taken away from actual learning, and students become too concerned with numbers to pursue their own academic interests.
In Maryland, students take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a standardized test similar to the SAT that gauges college readiness. In preparation for this test, students devote a great deal of school time to understanding the format of the test and its questions — perhaps too much time.
“It takes away valuable learning time from our students,” said Betty Weller, MESA President in an interview with Fox Baltimore.
“In many cases they don’t get to go to art or music or finance or PE because they have to get ready to take tests or because they are testing.”
This isn’t the first time this year that people are rallying against standardized testing. In Long Island this year, for example, 60% of students opted out of taking math and English standardized tests.
Not only does standardized testing take away from academic pursuit, but it isn’t always a reflection of one’s intelligence. Rather, it more aptly reflects the academic and financial privilege the student might posses.
For example, in private schools, students tend to score an average of 50 points higher on each category of the SAT, totaling an average of 150 points higher overall. While many may attribute that to a higher quality of education in private schools, these higher grades can also be attributed of increased access to resources thanks to wealth and class structure.
The “Less Testing, More Learning” campaign is a $500,000 campaign and will launch in the coming weeks on television ads across Washington and Baltimore media.