Canyon Vista notices problems with Standardized Testing


Standardized Testing season is nearing, and students go into overdrive, cramming for their AP tests, STAAR tests, and EOCs. However, this season of cramming begs the question, “should standardized testing be abolished” 

Standardized testing is used as a means to evaluate the progress of students throughout the year. They’re used to evaluate how well districts and schools are doing at educating their students as a whole. However, recently, there have been more concerns about how necessary standardized testing really is. Questions have been raised about how standardized testing represents all students, the stress these tests cause, and whether or not the graduation requirements that the TEA enforces are realistic. With 33 percent of failing reading exams, 40 percent of Texan students failing their STAAR math exams, and more than 2 million students failing their exams, Texas may need to reconsider STAAR tests, or at least change something in their testing system, as it’s clear that students don’t think it does the best job it can.

“I feel like they’re a good way to analyze if they are doing good exactly by the TEKS, but there are some things you can’t assess with a standardized test. Everyday teaching and the activities that you do in class, especially in classes like African American Studies, none of the activities you do there could be replaced by standardized tests,” Siddhant Kameswar (8) said. 

This discontent with tests is not something that is unique to students, teachers feel similarly as well.

“I think there’s other ways we could do it. I just feel like a better, holistic approach, rather than one approach. Math is Math, but writing and social studies, it has to be more holistic,” Mr. Jay Ferguson, Seventh-Grade Texas History teacher said. 

However, the issues with Standardized testing cut a lot deeper than how holistic they are, with mental health taking a serious hit during testing season.

“Students get really nervous about their performance on standardized tests, which we know does not lead to a student’s best performance,” Ms. Victoria Herdman said. “Just today, I had a student tell me they were so nervous about the STAAR test because they didn’t want to lose their elective. It made me so sad, because that’s not what they should be worried about at all right now; they haven’t even taken the test yet. I think the consequences from a poor performance stress students out even more, which again impacts how well they do.” 

There  is a lot of data related to the stress caused by standardized testing. Data from Harvard shows that students had 15 percent more cortisol in their systems on days where they have to take standardized testing compared to days where they don’t have to take standardized tests (Link can be found here). Cortisol is known for increasing heart rates, and blood pressure. 

Standardized testings are well known for not being very holistic, as well as not being great for students’ mental health, but what is possibly one of the most major issues regarding standardized testing in the state of Texas, is the accommodations, or lack thereof for ESL students and Special Education students taking standardized tests. 

“The accommodations ESL students receive are adequate, but they do not consider all the different English language proficiency levels. Our more advanced students can do well with the accommodations while our beginners will struggle as the language is completely new to them, and the accommodations provided do not make thing,” said Ms. Karoon Kuttana, ESL teacher.

It is clear that STAAR tests and standardized testing do have problems, however, the implementation of any sort of solution is confusing. A change that is this major in the education system of our state is bound to come with issues. 

“There definitely can be improvements, but the question of what those improvements are. In my opinion it’s hard to answer,  because you have to. I don’t know. It’s easy to say there can be improvements, but it’s hard to say what those improvements are.” Kameswar said.

The issues with STAAR testing have only become more prominent over the years, but the implementation of any solution will require a lot of planning. With Texas piloting a new Standardized testing problem with their TTAP (Texas Through-year Assessment Pilot) tests, it is possible that a new testing system will come to fruition. For more information, and sources for this article, check out the articles below.


Nearly 4 out of 10 Texas students failed state math exams in 2021

Nearly 40 percent of Texas students failed STAAR math exams |

Texas requires tutoring for kids failing STAAR. But here’s why students might not get it

Opinion: Was STAAR test a solution in search of a problem? | Opinion |

Are Texas Kids Failing? Or Are the STAAR Tests Rigged?