Taking a Look at Standardized Testing

598 WordsJan 26, 20182 Pages
Standardized testing is a global educational practice in determining the academic level of students and in turn, the aptness of teachers. W. James Popham (2005), former president of the American Educational Research Association, defines standardized test as "any test that's administered, scored, and interpreted in a standard, predetermined manner." In the United States, standardized testing became more prominent in 2002 due to the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act. All public schools were held to a high standard of education by measuring their students’ scores in statewide standardized tests (Couslon, 2009). Schools are deemed as effective if performance levels are high. Likewise, schools are considered to be ineffective if test scores are low. In Belize, there are different standardized examinations for the different educational levels. For the primary school level, there are two examinations that are administered annually – the Primary School Examinations (PSE) and the Belize Junior Achievement Test (BJAT). The PSE is a paper-based exam administered in the final year of primary schooling and the Belize Junior Achievement Test (BJAT) is administered to all students completing the middle division of primary education. According to the Ministry of Education, the PSE “assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills in the four (4) areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science of the National Primary School Curriculum” (2013, p.1). Each of the
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