The Cruel Irony Coronavirus Is Teaching Us About “Standardized” Testing

Depending on which math and science track is taken in high school, it is conceivable a student who matriculates in NC’s public schools will take around 40 standardized tests.

That list does not include any local benchmark assessments, the PSAT, the ACT, the Pre-ACT, or any of the AP exams that may come with Advanced Placement classes.

Throw in some PISA and NAEP participants. Maybe the ASVAB and the Workkeys.

There’s probably more.


And there’s never been a shortage of them. The state and local districts have always been able to have tests ready to give. In some cases multiple times.

And each of those tests has to be administered which equals time, resources, space, and people dedicated to a single measurement of academic “wellbeing.”

But this outbreak has continued to really “test” this state, one where Medicaid was not expanded, rural hospitals have been jeopardized, and many remain uninsured.

Coronaviruses research, conceptual illustration. Vials of blood in a centrifuge being tested for coronavirus infection.conceptual illustration

Makes one reassess how important some testing is and how unimportant some is not.

Think about how much money, time, and energy could be saved by canceling federal and state testing and dedicating those resources to not only making sure that schools will be safe enough to reenter for learning…

But also make sure that anyone who wants to get a test for COVID-19 can get one.