How important is standardized testing?

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV)-- The debate over standardized testing continues, but there's a growing focus on alternatives to measure student progress.

A growing movement to opt out of standardized tests is prompting serious questions surrounding education. State-mandated standardized tests are a familiar routine for students, but many parents are questioning their use.

"I don't like the standardized testing because my daughter's one that she gets the work and she's doing it in the classroom and stuff, but she get very nervous and when you give her a test she flubs the test so then it makes it look like she doesn't really learn," said Lyn Brown, parent.

The opt out movement gained support last year with over half a million kids not taking standardized tests, but under the new education law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), every state is required to test 95% of students or risk losing federal funding. This law passed in December to replace No Child Left Behind, which also required the 95% threshold.

Dr. Mark Manchin, Superintendent of Harrison County Schools, said these tests are necessary to measure student progress.

"These are simply tools that allow us to determine where our children are, what they know, what they don't know, and what we have to do to address that," said Manchin.

But opponents say the high-stakes testing isn't a reliable measure of learning and creates unnecessary stress.

Students performance on these tests do not effect their grades, but Manchin said this is something they need to work on to encourage students to take these tests more seriously.

"We probably need to do a little bit of a better job of making it more important, more pertinent to our students, that it impacts them and their grades and give some value to it. That is an issue and I think we need to address that, but it's still important because it tells a lot of people, funding agencies, governmental agencies, and the community how well their children are performing," said Manchin.

You can watch the full interview with Dr. Manchin in the video above.