Standardized Testing Has a Negative Effect on American Youth Essay

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It is 1917. You are a young American man who has enlisted in the armed forces, but before you are shipped off to France, you have to take what is known as an Army Alpha Test. Your scores will be compared to more than a million others and the results will determine whether you are placed in an officer training program or simply thrust onto the battlefield. High stakes were placed on this test 93 years ago; high stakes are placed on tests modeled after them today. The standardized achievement tests commonly used in schools today evolved from the Army Alphas developed by the American Psychological Association. This is precisely the problem. Standardized tests are old and outdated, and the harm they cause to America’s education system by far…show more content…
It is relatively easy to test for visual/spatial skills, and there are a few very popular tests that are readily available for students to take. Also, students’ knowledge of science and social studies suffers because many schools place less emphasis on them compared to math and reading. Syllabi disregard important civics and history topics because they are tested far less than math and reading (Neill, 163). Other commonly cut classes are creative subjects such as music, creative writing, art, and physical education (Solley). Some schools even eliminated recess to make room for more practice tests (Solley). “The importance of all subjects necessary to a well-rounded education should be emphasized—but not by adding standardized tests in more subjects” (Neill, 168). Standardized tests are clearly causing problems with public school curricula.
Another problem with standardized tests is that they cause unnecessary stress for students of all ages. There has been an increase in stressful standardized tests that is somewhat disconcerting. “By the late 1980s, most states required some type of mandatory testing; by 1991, students who completed high school took, on average, 18-21 standardized tests in their career…”(Solley). Standardized tests can be demanding for many students. Students who are not natural test takers can have difficulty achieving proficiency on
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