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Standardized tests are familiar to a majority of the population who have taken at least one. The memory of sitting in a room, listening to the proctor ramble. Out of the entire speech, one phrase stands out: “You may not know the answer to some of the questions.”

Standardized tests are the primary measurement of a school’s success in the United States. These tests provide puzzling results. Based on the data collected by the examinations, Racine Unified School District is labelled as “failing.”

Does that mean that the district’s students know less than others? Research has shown that school districts with more working class families perform poorer on standardized tests. If students in the districts are given a different way of demonstrating their knowledge, those who learn unconventionally can be successful in achieving the state’s requirements. Because standardized tests do not accurately represent a student’s intelligence, their measurements appear to be questionable.

Their implementation will not stop by itself, but we as a community — parents, students, teachers and school administration — can work to change it.

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The first step — become involved. The school board holds open meetings every third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at 3109 Mount Pleasant Street. Your attendance provides a voice for many. In the words of many test proctors, “You may not know the answers to some of the questions,” but standardized testing and their poor representation of students is not it.

Mary Franitza

Racine

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