Tests showcase what a student has learned on a certain topic, so it should only make sense that teachers are responsible for low test scores, right? Wrong, teachers can only do so much to help out a student so the blame for low test scores shouldn’t be placed on them.

There are a lot of factors that go into whether a student does well on a test, and while teaching is definitely a factor, it’s not the only one. Students that choose not to study the material will obviously do worse than someone who did. Teachers can’t be there to watch over a student and make sure he/she studies. That responsibility falls solely on the student. Students are also just ordinary human beings that have their good days and their bad days, and even if the teacher did their job well, that test score’s going to drop if it happens to be taken on an off day. Teachers shouldn’t be held accountable for low test scores caused by factors they can’t control.

Holding teachers responsible for low test scores will force teachers to teach to the test. Students wouldn’t be able to get the full value from a course because their teachers are too focused on teaching to a test crafted by the school district. Teachers would be pressed for time trying to cram in all the material before test day, and won’t be able to teach to the best of their abilities. Instead, they’ll be worried about whether their classes’ average score is enough to keep them in a job.

I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t be held accountable. They should, but it should have context behind it. If a student gets a low test score, compare it to their overall performance in the class. Look at performance reviews to see if the teacher teaches well or better yet, just sit in on a class. Any of these methods paint a more complete picture of a teacher.

Teachers shouldn’t be responsible for low test scores because it will ultimately have a negative impact on the students. Let teachers do their jobs without being focused on appealing to a scantron.