My third point as to why the No Child Left Behind policy needs to be changed is because of the large amounts of pressure it places on students and educators. By conforming all students in a particular state to one standard creates a heavy pressure for ALL students to perform well and for the educators to see to it. Educators are required to have so much of their school pass their tests even though some students with learning disabilities may never be able to pass these tests. Students with a learning or developmental disability are expected to take the same test that all of the other kids are taking which is hard for educators to make sure those kids are at the same level. The kids who know they struggle with testing especially standardized testing feel the extra pressure from the educators to pass the tests. Sometimes this extra pressure on students backfires when you are trying to motivate them to do their best. Depending on the student the more you push them the less likely they are to try and get better.
I used an example while giving a speech on this particular subject that explained why children should not all be compared on the same level. It was right after the Cardinals won the World Series ( I live 20 minutes from St. Louis so this was a HUGE deal for me and others in my area) and I used an analogy involving baseball. I said do you expect to compare all twenty five year old men who play baseball on the same level? This includes people who play Major League baseball, Minor league, club leagues, church leagues and those who play pick up games in the back yard with their friends. Do you think that all of these man should be compared together just because they are all the same age and play baseball? Obviously not because those who play Major League baseball are far more developed in their skills than one who plays baseball in the backyard. I think that this is the same for children. Just because a group of students are enrolled in school and are of the same age does not mean they should be compared together. Children develop differently and all children are gifted in different ways so we cannot expect them to all be at the same level. This is the main reason why I disagree with standardized testing in general because it treats the children as a number instead of an individual.
In the next two blog posts I will be featuring two interviews one of a good friend of mine and a personal interview. In both of these we will be talking about our experiences with standardized testing and the pressure we felt to do well on these.