Arguments for and against the use of standardized testing have been around for as long as standardized tests have been used in the U.S. Education system. Despite the constant back and forth, standardized tests have remained an integral part of our teaching and learning cycle. Many of the standardized tests have changed and adapted over the years to better reflect students from all backgrounds and areas across the U.S. At the same time, colleges and universities have shifted their focus of standardized test score being only a part of the whole picture when considering a student for admission or scholarship. As the tests are not going anywhere anytime soo, it's important to know the benefit of these tests and how they can help students and schools.

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Taking Tests are a Part of Life

Whether it's going to the doctor's office for an annual check-up, taking your driver's license test, or staying current with career guidelines, tests are taken throughout life. Test results, from any exam, show an individual's strengths and areas for growth. While in school, this information is used to support interventions for individual students and supports within the curriculum. Participating in testing each year not only helps in updating student and school needs, but also helps student become more comfortable with testing. Performing well under pressure is a skill students need and will use often as an adult.

All Tests Provide Information about Student Learning

Information from assessment results helps VPP staff focus instruction in skills and content areas in which students need more time and supports to understand the information and master the skill and content. Standardized tests, required of all high school students, ensure students graduate with a foundational set of skills and knowledge that prepares them to pursue college and career opportunities.

Standardized Tests are an Opportunity for Personal Growth

As members of the Quest Community, we share the duty and responsibility of ensuring our students are educated, skilled and contributing members of society, and realize their potential as lifelong learners.

Assessment Results Provide Accountability

Standard assessment data remains the best way to hold schools accountable for their academic performance. State accountability measures include proficiency and college/career readiness results, but also student-growth data all of which indicate the effectiveness of a school or district's curricula. The objectivity of standardized assessments allows educators, schools, districts, and policy makers to compare achievement and growth and apply necessary interventions where needs and accolades where appropriate.

In a Utopian society, we could wish away standardized exams; all schools would be great and every student would be meeting their true potential. However, we are forced to live in a reality where there is not a level playing field; not every school is the same and students need different things at different times to help them reach their potential. To best support our students and community, we need objective information on school and student performance, and the best available information comes from standardized tests.