Ethical Issues of Standarized Testing

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In the contemporary American education system, high risk standardized testing has resulted in a monumental shift in the classroom to a focus on extensive test preparation, as well as a large influx of instructors cheating and alternating their students tests; both can be seen as a direct consequence of the heightened incentives and punishments placed upon teachers.
Many teachers have taken acceptable measures in improving their students’ scores, such as simply “teaching to the test”, and taking class time to teach test taking techniques and procedures often resulting in a significant loss in time for other important standards and benchmarks that are not tested on. Taking a deontologist stance, one would propose that the teachers are
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Also, these methods of test score fluctuation results in a false impression of the schools educational quality. Many parents seek to send their children to a highly ranked school district – often judged by standardized test scores – however, when educators partake in test day activities that raise their reputation as a “great teacher”, they are misrepresenting the true value of their classroom, and parents are sending their children into a classroom with high expectations in mind, and are ultimately being misled and deceived. This cycle also results in honest schools and districts loosing high performing students to these cheating misrepresented schools, causing the authentic schools test scores to lower, and for its funding to eventually be cut.
There are several courses of actions that would result in a level playing field for districts. One view states that all teachers should instruct and prepare the students by the standard benchmarks, and rest assure that come test day they will succeed to the best of their ability, and it will be an accurate representation of their teaching abilities. This method assumes that the standardized test is an ultimate accurate representation of the material a student should have mastered. Another method that could be defended by utilitarianism is that all educators should do everything they can to help the student achieve a high test score; resulting in higher funding for all school districts

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