Mary U. Andrews: Tests can hurt students

March 18, 2014 

Regarding the March 10 Point of View “Opting out of standardized testing”: I fully concur with the views of Ilina Ewen and Pamela Grundy regarding standardized testing in our elementary schools. I applaud their courage to confront the system.

One consideration they did not mention is that if every child passed the End Of Grade test – which of course is every teacher, child and parent’s goal – the test would be deemed too easy. Once that is established, it would be re-normed, thus making it more difficult for everyone to pass.

Crudely put, by its very nature it is based on winners and losers. We need to question what failing that test does to the self-image and confidence of a young child and what it does to family life.

To quote Ewen and Grundy, “Our schools need a system of fewer, higher quality assessments that are performance-based and that inform instruction rather than reward and punish.”

Let’s make sure every child really has a chance to thrive.

Mary U. Andrews

Chapel Hill

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