The Effects Of Standardized Cognitive Tests On Student Emotional Health And Personality Essay

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There is an exorbitant amount of focus on standardized cognitive tests in K-12 education today - particularly measures of intelligence and achievement. The usefulness of these tests notwithstanding, they are limited in that they provide an incomplete picture of a student’s abilities and needs. Having worked 14 years as an English teacher at Bergen County Technical School of Paramus (Bergen Tech), a vocational-technical high school with a predominantly special needs population, I find it unfortunate that the educational psychologists with whom I work have in recent years been directed to focus on cognitive tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, to the exclusion of non-cognitive measures that could provide insight into student emotional health and personality. For school staff endeavoring to help students negotiate the path to adulthood and guide them toward brighter more fulfilling futures, personality assessment could be used to help clarify needs, determine the severity of problems, make predictions about future behaviors, and aid in educational recommendations.
It is necessary to highlight some of the complications unique to Bergen Tech Paramus and other vo-tech schools so as to fully appreciate the potential benefit of reintroduction of regular personality testing. Unlike the trade schools prevalent in Western Europe, which are regarded as normal and respectable paths to gainful employment, vo-tech schools in the

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