On May 22, 2015, 12 year old Lacey Slekar stood in front of the Board of Education in her school district and tried to convince the adults in the room that standardized testing is bad for children. Her speech was eloquent, well-organized, and very persuasive. She is a hero for writing and delivering a speech that truly presented the student point of view.
Her father, Tim Slekar who writes the Busted Pencils:Fully Leaded Education Talk blog and pod-cast, was not aware his daughter was even researching this topic. As Tim writes in his own blog post,
“Lacey wrote a research paper about standardized testing. We had no idea she was doing this until she asked Tim for some advise. She felt very strongly about sharing her findings with the school board. Her teachers encouraged her to read it, so she did. Wow, very proud of our BustED Pencils Student Correspondent.”
Here is the video of this student hero fighting to eliminate standardized testing from her school:
And here is the text of her persuasive speech:
Hello, my name is Lacey Slekar and I am a student at Badger Ridge middle school. I am here to share with you my concerns about standardized testing. I believe Standardized testing should be banned from all schools.
First of all, Standardized testing causes harmful stress on students. The stress and pressure put on students is not healthy. It can cause kids to cry, vomit, and get angry with themselves, or all at the same time. Students should not have to take the whole year preparing and stressing over one test that doesn’t even count towards your overall student grade. In the past, one student I know got so stressed about the test that she ended up wetting her pants. That is definitely not healthy.
Secondly, Standardized tests are an unreliable measure of student performance. Your test score can be affected by your physical and mental feelings that one day of testing. A series of tests throughout the year can accurately measure your student performance. Standardized testing does not provide feedback on student performance. Results aren’t given back to teachers until months later. For a student who may creatively answer, doesn’t get full credit because the test is graded by a machine or by someone who is not qualified and will be marked wrong for not following the correct format. Students should be able to think outside the box and still get full credit for it.
Lastly, Standardized testing is wasting time and money that should be being used for educational purposes. Dr. Timothy Slekar says it is a waste of time for teachers to prepare students for tests when they should be teaching students the correct things they need to be learning for their own education (bustedpencils.com). They are called teachers for a reason, not testers. According to standardizedtests.procon.org, No Child Left Behind on January 8, 2002, the amount of money spent on standardized tests rose from $423,000,000 to about 1.1 billion in 2008. This is an unacceptable waste of money that could be used for educational purposes instead of buying standardized tests.
I feel very strongly about my argument and I hope people will help put a STOP to standardized testing.
Lacey – we are all so proud of you and encourage you to keep researching, asking the tough questions, writing and speaking out for what you believe is the right thing. You are a Student Hero for sure!