“…only twenty-two percent of those surveyed said increased testing had helped the performance of their local schools compared with twenty-eight in 2007” (“Public Skeptical of Standardized Testing.”). Furthermore the poll indicated an eleven percent increase, compared to last year, towards the favor of discontinuing the usage of students’ test results for teacher evaluations. William Bushaw, executive director of PDK International and co-director of PDK/Gallup Poll also stated, “Americans’ mistrust of standardized tests and their lack of confidence and understanding around new education standards is one the most surprising developments we’ve found in years” (“Public Skeptical of Standardized Testing.”). All in all, not only are these tests a concern for students, who are forced to sit through them, hoping to get a decent enough score to place into a class, receive their diploma, or even get accepted to the college of their dreams, but they are a concern for parents as well, who only want the best for their children and to see them succeed.
The use of standardized examinations have long been debated in American society. In fact, the last several years have seen an immense shift from the prioritization of standardized testing to more holistic measurements of student achievement. Despite this shift, many school districts across the nation and college/university entrance requirements still place a significant, if not pivotal, emphasis on test-taking and standardized exam results. Throughout this paper, I will explore 1) the history of standardized testing, 2) arguments for and against its practice, as well as 3) situate the consequences of its use in one of the three philosophical goals of schooling. All of this will subsequently paint an investigation into the purpose of schooling in American society.
With the added pressure to do well in school, standardized testing becomes a means to added stress, anxiety and further complicates the pressure to succeed in a student’s life. Rather than a focus on learning and understanding, school has become a massive rope skill memorization test designed to have students memorize subjects to pass the test, and forget the material the next minute for the next test. When asked to speak about standardized testing, education chairman, Larry Taylor, said “It’s heart-wrenching, and it’s also insanity when you see the level of achievement these kids are already doing and yet they can’t even pass this test.” (Smith). The utilization of standardized testing further exemplifies and validates the idea that no matter how hard or long you work in school, your work will never be worth the few answers you write for the
Recently, arguments have arisen over the issue of standardized testing. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the ACT, OGT, semester exams given by the district, or the recent implementation of PARCC tests, all are standardized tests that almost all Ohio students will encounter in their schooling career. In Aaron Churchill’s “Bless the tests: Three reasons for standardized testing,” Churchill gives his reasoning on why standardized tests are beneficial even past the assessment of students, teachers, schools, and districts. He argues, among other things, that the tests give parents a good comparison of their students to other students, hold schools accountable for student academic growth, and close the gap between different grading practices in schools. These assertions, along with the rest of the essay, are invalid.
Kevin Kumashiro points out in his article for The Progressive that “ The 2015 ‘Nation’s Report Card’ shows a declines in students test scores in reading and mathematics” since 1990. Over the years, school mostly focus on getting the right answer on high-stake tests. Herbert J. Walberg, wrote in his article standardized testing is the best to measure students “educational goals” (Walberg, 1) Apparently, getting the right answer on a test makes a student ready for the real world. “The scores don’t provide very much useful information for evaluation a student's achievement” (Harris, 1) Most individuals disagree with the states passing new laws since NCLB to make the opposing side happy. No matter how much the government tries to add laws to fix about measuring students ability it will backfire. Phillip Harris argues standardized test does a “poor job” with measuring students achievement. How the high-stake test fail in measuring “important attributes as creativity and critical thinking.” (Harris,1) Studies show standardized tests “reward superficial thinking.” (Harris,1) and discourage analytical thinking. Richard Rothstein, an educational economist stated ‘Measurement of students achievement is complex-too complex for social science presently available.’ (Harris, 1) These methods include standardized testing. Rothstein statement was made in 1998. More than a decade
“Mostly, they worry that common standards would reduce teaching to only a small range of testable information and would not produce the knowledge, flexibility and creativity needed. Buttressing this concern, the Center on Education Policy found that the emphasis on test-based accountability has indeed already narrowed the curriculum” (Mathis). Standardized testing has become a controversial topic recently throughout the nation because of the harsh, confined lessons teachers are being forced to give. According to a news article written by the New York Times, teenagers nationwide are taking anti-depressants to cope with test-related stress and teachers would rather retire than teach when the government seems to value testing over learning. Teachers
Standardized high-stakes testing is necessary in today's school systems and policies within education. The fate of annual standardized testing is being considered as Congress debates the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (Evans, 2015). Testing in its current form may seem detrimental to student learning, but the only thing worse than standardized testing is not having testing at all (Evans, 2015). Standardized High-stakes Testing is necessary because it serves as a platform for guiding students and teachers, it’s a great measurement tool on an individual’s performance, it helps prepare administration and it also provides a “level playing field.”
Standardized testing has been used in the United States for years while its role in education has expanded by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Standardized testing was created to promote equality within the education system; to treat and teach all student the same. The use of this test was also meant to measure the students’ progress in math and reading, as well as to determine a student promotion to the next grade; but at what cost? Preparation for standardized tests is almost twenty-four-seven, every year from third grade to eighth grade. Preparation that takes up valuable learning time in school. Preparation that is a waste to the students’ future in college and life beyond school. Standardized testing seem to demand so much from schools; not to mention its impending threat on schools to label them with bad reputations or closing them down. With such a threat breathing down the necks of the schools encouragement to cut quality education to meet the standards to ‘survive’ is tempting. Teachers would teach primary to the favor of the test and, if given the opportunity, schools would scandalously claim and put their low-scoring students in special education programs to exempt them from taking the test. Standardized testing is damaging our biggest number one priority; which is our education, an important factor that strongly impacts the children of our future!
From the time that children begin school, standardized tests have been used to gauge their intellect and evaluate how they stack up amongst their peers. Since the initiation of the No Child Left Behind Act, under the Bush administration, standardized testing has seen a sharp increase. The immense emphasis placed upon standardized tests has acquired several opponents and received backlash from various parties involved. Although the tests are implemented with positive intended results, there are several negative aspects surrounding their use that should be taken into consideration. The advantages or disadvantages of these tests depend on the individual, therefore standardized testing should be optional within the college admission process.
Moreover, the debate of Standardized Tests has been an ongoing dilemma yet nothing has happened to put an end to it. State sanctioned tests have been a piece of American schooling since the mid-1800s. These tests were implemented strictly after 2002's No Child Left Behind Act. Which ordered yearly testing in each of the 50 states. US undergraduates dropped from “18 on the planet in math in 2000 to 31st spot in 2009” (ProCon) with an equivalent decrease in science and no change in literature. Many other countries that do better than us in terms of reading, science and mathematics rate have shunned Standardized testing. With that said, Standardized tests are not only not effective but they are hindering student’s growth academically. A graph from the New York Times illustrates another surprising yet very true predicament. The correlation between SAT scores and family incomes were shown to conclude that families with greater incomes test better in both writing, reading and mathematics. This is because wealthier families can afford the best tutors and superior prep for Standardized tests. By weakening the value weight that these test hold, students, no matter their families’ socio economy
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
“According to a peer- reviewed, 100-year analysis by Richard P. Phelps, 93% of studies found that standardized tests have a positive effect on student achievement”(National Assessment of Educational Progress ,2014). But what does this percentage really mean? This means that through time students have scored better and better on standardized tests. But does that mean they’ve actually achieved more? The improvement of scores could just be a function of the increased attention given to the tests. Teachers today are expected to prepare students for those tests since it can determine a school’s ranking and in some cases a teacher’s salary (Popham, 1999). So, the 93% of studies that say standardized tests helped students do better actually carry many confounding factors, one of them being the increased emphasis on preparation for standardized tests of the time which could greatly skew the data and lead to an illusory correlation, more standardized tests correlates to better
There is much debate circulating around how the affairs of the american educational system should be conducted, specifically regarding the utilization of standardized testing. Supporters of standardized testing view it was an objective way to evaluate student achievement across the globe. (Jain, L. Role and Benefits of..) According to the US Department of Education,”If teachers cover subject matter required by the standards and teach it well, then students will master the material on which they will be tested--and probably much more.” Meaning, teaching to the test is not necessarily a negative thing as it allows the student to focus on the essentials of a subject. (USDE, Testing: Frequently Asked…) Standardized testing grants teachers the ability to organize their curriculums to meet national and international standards. In this paper, I want to analyze the effects of standardized testing, while also identifying the potential negatives.
Imagine walking into class the day of a school-wide exam and your teacher offer you two choices, A.) Play fun games outside with your friends or , B.) Take a boring an extremely long test. If your answer was A then get ready to put down that #2 pencil and pick up that bouncy ball. In almost every school, both local and international students are required to take standardized test and exams. The results of these tests are used for a number of reasons. Many children miss out on a wide variety of academic opportunities because of the results of the test that deemed them not proficient,based on their results of a standardized test. Unfortunately, a A standardized test has been a stressor to students academic lives.
Over the years, a debate has emerged arguing the fairness and the reliability of standardized tests. The outcome of this dispute not only directly impacts students, but also teachers and administrators, many whose jobs are placed on the line when the test scores come back. There are many exceptional points for both why the tests should be completely eradicated and also for why the tests should stay right where they are. A main argument for the tests is that they place students that may not have similar opportunities on a level playing field. The ACT, SAT, and other akin tests are the best way to test not only content knowledge, but also students’ ability to perform under pressure, a skill needed to succeed in college and the workforce.