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Informative Essay: The Use Of Standardized Testing In Schools

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Imagine a child sitting at a desk, a bubble sheet and number two pencil on the table in front of them, one person in a room full of alphabetized individuals. They are scared of what the results will be, what they will find out about themselves. Will they be good enough, or will they become lost in the masses of those children deemed “below average”? Their nerves are getting the best of them and they skip a few questions because they do not think they know the answers, they score poorly and lower the value they put in themselves, they believe they have become “below average”. They just took a standardized test. A standardized test is one in which the test subjects are given the same amount and type of questions, although they may vary depending…show more content…
Standardized testing was first implemented in schools by Lyndon B. Johnson via the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, these tests are nothing new (ProCon.org 2015). However, in recent years, the number of tests given has skyrocketed in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. These horrid tests include Florida Standards Assessments, or FSAs (and other state-specific tests), end-of-course (EOC) exams, Advanced Placement Exams (AP Exams), and college entrance exams (ACT and SAT). From Pre-Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade, students must take and pass variations of these tests in science, math and reading in order to be considered successful in school (Hart 2015). Due to this fact, the word “standardized test” has earned a negative connotation amongst students -- who fear that these tests will determine their future -- as well as teachers and parents. Standardized tests are given too often, reduce creativity in schools, and are a poor representation of student’s abilities and…show more content…
When a test determines if you pass a grade or have to take the a course over, teachers tend to teach students only what they need to know to pass. Teachers have to “teach to the test” which means that they have no room in their lesson plans for activities such as art and music which encourage and cultivate creativity. The instructors must teach the “right” answer and in doing so punish children for the seemingly incorrect one, the one that is not so much wrong as creative (Shellenbarger 2011). When creativity in students is not fostered, it dies, decreasing individualism. With standardized tests come standardized learning, and with standardized learning comes standardized children who are no longer free to live through childhoods that are uniquely theirs. Yes, there is the possibility that a child could strike out on their own and create an inimitable life, but without the opportunity to nurse their creative tendencies due to an overabundance of structured class time spent “teaching to the test”, the chances are extremely low
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