Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Less Testing, More Learning

           The school environment has become toxic for students. School is a place for learning and preparing yourself for the real world, but it has been tainted by morphing into a superficial place for incessant testing.

           Overtesting teaches students to work towards getting good grades instead of learning about the world around them and enlightening themselves. This is not only damaging to their futures, but it doesn’t actually teach them the information. This atmosphere of “memorize it, take the test, and forget it” causes the information to go into their short-term memory or the pre-frontal lobe of their brains instead of going into their long-term memory or the cortex of their brains. In fact, short-term memory is used to accomplish something you have planned to do. This type of memory gives us the ability to hold on to a piece of information temporarily in order to complete a task. This WHS mindset allows kids to forget the information they learn as soon as they’re tested on it. But overtesting isn’t just ineffective, it leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Students neglect healthy eating and exercising for study for incessant tests.
            Haven’t you ever had three tests in one day? The week leading up to it consists of nonstop studying, lack of sleep, and loss in appetite. You might even have other sports or out-of-school activities to attend after school. This puts a time constraint on your studies, which depending on how long it takes you to memorize information, can lead to long-term sleep deprivation. Twenty bucks says you are running on coffee right now.
            Standardized tests such as the SATs give kids a number based on how well they did. This is essentially dehumanization, similar to how Elie Wiesel was given the number A-7713 at a concentration camp in Night. It takes away students' identity and replaces it with a number that's supposed to represent their intelligence, when it's commonly an inaccurate representation. These numbers are a representation of how fast you can memorize information, or how much time you have on your hands, or where your motivations lie.
 
You shouldn’t be defined by a number or a test score. You’re more than that. Those numbers don’t determine how intelligent or hard-working you are, they just determine how easy it is for you to memorize and spit out information that’s been shoved down our throats. But for real, if you want to get into college, do your homework kids!

*** Disclaimer: this short essay was written for my English class as a speech so that explains the fancy language.

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