Standardized Testing And The Classroom Environment

1875 Words8 Pages
My English class when I was a high school junior was characterized by exactly what people complain about when they belittle standardized testing and the classroom environment it creates. Namely in the area of teaching to and gaming the standardized tests. New York had used its state based and standardized Regents curriculum for the entire time I was in my pre-college education and the peak of the English Language Arts curriculum was in my junior year of high school. To pass high school and get your diploma, the state mandated that you take and pass your English 11 Regents exam. It focused on general multiple choice questions based off of randomly selected passages, short answer questions, and one longer critical lens essay. The only part of the exam that used information taught in the classroom was the critical lens essay in which you had to take two works of literature that you have read and use them to analyze a given quote. Because of how important this exam was, it was offered twice in the year for us (which was unheard of in other classes) once in January and once in June. About a month and a half before the January test, my teacher stopped everything we were doing and went into “test prep mode”. This meant that all class time and activities were purely devoted to running through different parts of the test repeatedly until we effectively had memorized how to do that part of the test. After learning the layout of the multiple-choice section for the
Get Access