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Standardized Testing In Public Education

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Another argument is that “School districts and teachers should have the autonomy to create their own standards and curricula at the local level, rather than being held to national criteria and impossible standardized tests (Embrace The Common Core).” One of the most controversial issues in public education, the topic of standardized tests has actually taken on a life of its own.
A standardized test is “any form of test that (1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that (2) is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual students or groups of students (Standardized Test Definition).”
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One problem associated with standardized testing involves teachers “teaching to the test (Standardized Tests).” Nowadays, standardized testing is sometimes seen as a reflection of a teacher’s teaching capabilities. This creates a problem for teachers when their salary or job security is potentially tied to their students’ test scores. Even entire schools can lose funding if their students are not testing high enough or making progress. On the student side, teachers teaching to the test can mean a lot of monotonous drilling and focus on nothing other than what they will be tested on. All of this time spent drilling pushes aside any other potential learning strategies while leaving little room for creativity. When students are not able to spread their wings and express their creativity, both dissent and originality are definitely smothered. In his essay, Gatto claims that both the students and teachers are bored in the classroom (Gatto 608). I believe that this “teaching to the test” way of doing things can be to blame for this dissatisfaction among the public school…show more content…
education agenda, which I believe it is, then taking notes from the Finnish public school system may be in our best interest. I have a soft spot for public education though, not only because I enjoyed my attendance at a public school, but because I come from a family of public school educators who have influenced me enough that I see myself heading down that path as well. Gatto, however, questions the usefulness of forced schooling altogether. He also argues that some of the most successful and intellectual people in history were highly educated without being highly schooled (Gatto 609). This type of education is labeled as homeschooling. One of the great advantages of homeschooling is that the whole educational experience is centered around a single student. Homeschoolers also have more freedom to pursue topics of interest and explore the world without the burden of the strict guidelines and schedule of the public education system. I think that homeschooling is a great educational alternative to public schools, but the fact that public schools offer a consistent dosage of social situations and interactions should not be dismissed as a measly byproduct of the system. We want our students to receive the best education available, but it is important that our future citizens know how to interact with and tolerate other people and their
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