Face Off: ISTEP is a complete waste of time

Jameson Browe, Reporter

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ISTEP and all standardized tests for that matter, are a complete waste of time. Creativity is one of the most important qualities that humans can have, and these tests give no value or feedback for creative answers. Instead, computers are grading and a creative response that isn’t the correct format could be the wrong response. 

ISTEP creates stress. Are students not already dealing with enough homework, projects, and tests? This extra test just adds onto the list of problem that we have to deal with and prepare for. The point of ISTEP is to measure students’ knowledge of basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. All it really measures is how students are able to handle stress, less sleep, and wasting time. 

But how does one test measure what someone knows. The test is not a fair measure of a student’s knowledge and can actually create a false sense of security. A student can score well on ISTEP and assume they know the material, but this may not be true at all. They might’ve just memorized information that was included in the test. If the test doesn’t help students understand what to improve on then what’s the point of it?

On the flip side, what if a student scores poorly on ISTEP? A lot of people are just bad test-takers and aren’t able to put their knowledge to use on these long, tedious, and pointless tests. This exposes how these standardized tests are an unfair measure of knowledge. 

Almost everyone except for students benefit from ISTEP testing. Test companies make millions and teachers could receive a raise if their students perform well. But what do the actual test-takers get. A pat on the back? The people that actually have to put in the work and take the time to work for these scores are really just helping out many people that they’ve never even met. 

Finally, during the hours that are spent on ISTEP preparation and testing, students could be doing something way more productive and valuable such as actually learning. This test might be a graduation requirement but why? It takes valuable time away from education and learning information that can actually be useful for the future. As a poor measure of knowledge, ISTEP creates a lot of stress and time-wasting for almost nothing in return. 

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