Certain states have very high risks for students and there even three quarters or more of the teachers report about this high pressure, whereas in states where the stakes are low, the report of pressure is for half the students or less. The pressure on the teachers is also reflected in the position taken by elementary and middle school teachers who were more positive about the changes than high school teachers. The anxiety felt by the students is however very high even at the primary school level, but this high anxiety did not affect the overall performance. (Perceived Effects of State-Mandated Programs on Teaching and Learning: Findings from a National Survey of Teachers)
Thus apart from the direct evaluation of the students, which itself causes a lot of tension and stress on the students, they also lead to tension and stress on the teachers and probably all others connected with the school. This sort of tension for the teachers and others who are connected would probably have happened anyhow, as no educational authority can survive without extraneous funding and initial funds for starting the organization. At the same time, the person who is to be worried about is visible and the reactions can be directly assessed whereas the reactions of a government depend on a number of factors not connected to teachers and education. It is important that this part of tension is eased off and some type of an assurance is given to schools regarding their future funding, which is the biggest help they get, along with their recognition.
These are problems not based on the use of standards but the method of imposition of the standards, and it has to be made much more human. Let us remember that education is a slow process and cannot be finished in one day, and the improvement of students also takes place slowly. The process of education even up to high school takes a number of years, and the changes that are made today will have only practical outcomes after a certain number of years. With this in view while the standards to ensure American students reach world standards are good, the authorities should have some patience about the entire exercise. Education is not only teaching of skills, but it is also the making of a better human being. (Errors in Standardized Tests: A Systemic Problem)
To conclude, there are individual opinions on education and the opinions on standards are a part of them. At the same time, there has to be an authority that must be able to say what is flawed, functioning like the Federal Trade commission or the Federal Aviation Administration. Today we are all aware of certain problems that exist in education, but somebody must be given the final authority to decide the reasons for the problem.
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