Essay on Problems with Standardized Testing

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Problems with Standardized Testing “Where is the standardized test that can measure passion for learning, respect for others, and human empathy?” These are the words of Tom McKenna, a disgruntled high school teacher from Portland, Oregon. Like many other educators and students across the nation, Tom is tired of the system. The educational system today is composed of a series of standardized tests. Standardized tests are bad for many reasons. They cause teachers to limit their curriculum, put low-level income and minority students at a disadvantage, cause school districts to focus too heavily on raising test scores, and extract the passion for learning from students. In many cases teachers are encouraged to teach only…show more content…
Everyone is evaluated by test scores. Principals are evaluated by the school board and teachers by the principals. Standardized tests are used more so today in the United States than ever before. These tests are used to see if young children are ready to begin school, to track progress throughout the school system, to diagnose learning disabilities, to promote or retain students from the next level, to gage competitiveness amongst other high school graduates, and many other things. There is a ripple effect of standardized tests as well. Since schools focus mainly on material that is covered on standardized tests, programs that do not appear on such tests get omitted from schools altogether. These programs include music, physical education, and the arts. These types of classes have proven to be extremely important in the developmental process of young minds. Caleb Rossiter, a statistician at American University in Washington D.C. complains, “They don't see what the effort to bring up the scores is doing to the curriculum. They don't see the dispiriting effect of scrapping art, music and physical education because they are not on the tests.” The types of students that are hurt most by standardized testing are minority students and low-level income students. When these students perform poorly on standardized tests, they are likely to be placed in slow classes. These types of classes focus almost exclusively on drill and
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