State mandated testing combined with district-mandated testing has created a stressful system of evaluating schools, teachers, and students. It is impossible to judge the worth of a teacher and the ability of a student from tests created by bureaucrats in Tallahassee. The complexity of the educational process cannot, and should not, be boiled down to a multiple-choice assessment.

I have watched my own students get physically sick preparing for a test. No student should have to go through this. Students from elementary to high school feel enslaved to tests and parents and teachers have few options to help their students. We cannot allow this to continue.

Our state has created proficiency standards with no significance. Students and teachers should be measured on the growth they make over the course of a school year. A teacher-created baseline test should be administered early in the year followed by an end of year test. This way, growth of an individual student over a year can be easily measured. We need to move towards a system that encourages actual learning instead of arbitrary competitions pitting students and teachers against their peers.

“Sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent minds do not shine in standardized tests because they do not have standardized minds.” ― Diane Ravitch