Every spring since 1990, public school students 3rd-12th grade prepare for annual standardized testing.

Preparing For K-PREP

Honestly though, that preparation happens all year long in classrooms as teachers make sure students are learning what they need to know to score well on K-PREP (Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress.) Students are tested on subjects like reading, math, science, social studies, and writing at the end of the school year.

Tracking Student Success

Back when I took the test, it was called the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System or CATS Testing. Same thing really, a way for the state of Kentucky to supposedly see whether kids are learning what they  deem to be necessary information or skills gained throughout the school year. It's why so many of us get shivers down our spines when we see a Scantron sheet!

Pros & Cons of Standardized Testing

But are standardized tests really beneficial? Are they really an accurate determination of success? There is some disagreement in the education community and among parents as to whether they serve their intended purpose. ProCon.org has some interesting information about that if you'd like to read further.

Former Kentucky Educator Has Strong Feelings About State Testing

Gerry Brooks from Lexington, Kentucky spent six years as a teacher, two years as an intervention specialist and 12 years as an administrator. Now he is a public speaker and comedian whose videos you've probably seen on social media. His content is a mix of funny and keeping it real about the education system.

And in one of his latest videos, he has something to say about standardized testing. Always tongue-in-cheek, but his point comes across loud and clear.


@gerrybrooksprin State Testing Assembly done right. Just sayin. #teachers #teachersoftiktok2021 #school #schoollife #test #statetesting #starr #ksa #friend #friendship #education ♬ original sound - Gerrybrooksprin

Some of the comments mentioned things like,

"Since high school, no one has ever asked what my test scores were! No one in the real world cares!"

"Yes !!! I’m a parent and I say every year state testing makes no since !! Just adds more stress to both teachers and students!! My kids always panic on test !"

and, "Higher Test scores lead to higher funding… but the places that need the higher funding or the ones with the lower test scores" This was actually mentioned in a study done by Forbes Magazine that is definitely worth the read. That underprivileged and underfunded schools are way more likely to not do well with standardized tests.

Others were suggesting he tag state legislators who hold the power to change things.

I'm honestly not sure I know of anyone who is like, "Yay! State testing!" I'm on Gerry's team. It would be nice if the focus was instead put on making sure kids are kind, well-rounded, can cope with stress and mental health issues. When students are safe and happy, they can achieve so much more.

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