Standardized Testing: Do or Don’t for Glasgow?

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By: Rewan Farag

3/22/21

Standardized testing has been a controversial topic for a while, but this year, it’s different. Many people had to adapt to new changes and learn in an online environment. Students struggled with differentiating between school and home. Millions of parents lost their jobs and some have had to work from home while also managing their kids. There have also been many losses that families have had to go through because of COVID. Nonetheless, students are expected to be learning and achieving good grades. The question here is: Should there still be SOLs this year?

Here is the data from a survey that 120 Glasgow students filled out: 

The majority of students that participated in this survey either said that there shouldn’t be standardized tests or that they’re not sure, while about 7% said that there should be SOLs. There are definitely pros and cons to both sides. Let’s see what some Glasgow students said:

No: “I don’t believe it’s fair to students to make them take a test that is made for normal schools when it hasn’t been a normal school year. The test is made for teachers and the districts to know how their students are doing compared to other students. I think the results if they do have to take the test will be below average and it will hurt students in the long run.” -Maclain M. 

Mixed opinion: “I do think that there should be SOL’s this year because it will help everyone get back into the groove of doing it and help the younger kids learn about how it actually works. However, I think that if SOL’s do happen, it should be strictly for experience purposes and should not be recorded on our records or count towards next year.” -Ayesha G. 

Yes: “I think there should be SOL’s this year because we should have a way to check how much we learned this year, and see how being virtual affected that. I also think it will bring a sense of normalcy too, because we would have had SOL’s every year if we were in person, so it would be good to have them this year too. Also, it gives us something to work towards, or give us a goal. If some aren’t really trying to learn much this year, then the SOL’s may be something to get them motivated about trying their best in school.” -Brooke E.J

As you can see, arguments can be made for both sides. Some people believe that with the kind of year that students have had, it wouldn’t be fair to have SOLs. Others believe that there should be SOLs but solely for experience purposes. A small majority believe that students need to have SOLs to help them track what they’ve learned and improve. Which side are you on? Should there be SOLs this year?