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There has been quite a bit of talk lately about standardized testing in the school systems, it seems as though almost every other commercial during the news is a political ad bashing standardized tests. Many of these commercials involve parents sitting in meeting room, speaking about how their child is stressed, or about how these tests are taking up a disproportionate amount of time that could be allotted to learning more important things. One of these commercials truly struck me, it involved a father speaking about how his first grader came home drained and depressed from the amount of learning he had to “endure” in school, all due to these tests. That commercial is extremely upsetting to me, not because the child was “drained” from school, but the fact that learning too much at school is considered a bad thing. Maybe it’s just me, or due to my upbringing, but I was always taught to treat school as my job, and I did my best to learn and excel at everything I was taught. If something at school was too hard, I asked my parents for help or did extra research, but I can honestly say I was never so heavily burdened by the amount of work given at school that I felt like quitting. I understand that everybody learns at a different pace, and I feel as though schools are doing their best to work with everyone, but this commercial made it seem as though this child was just going to school for fun, then he happened to be blindsided by the necessity of learning. As for standardized testing, I don’t agree that it should be used to grade teachers, I think it should be used as a benchmark for student growth. Students should be required to take a test at the start and at the midpoint of each year to assess their growth, and teachers should be rated on the overall growth of their students, as well as individual grades. The United States is already falling behind other countries when it comes to math, science, and even reading, so I find it hard to believe that lightening the workload will help us catch up. I am not fully sure of what will come out of these standardized testing debates, but one thing I do know is that the actual learning aspect of school must stay the most important, in order for the United States to stay intellectually relevant in this ever changing world.