receive funding, a school system has to test its students annually.
These tests are supposed to measure the progress of the students and the
school system. But what is really measured with these scores? What do they
really mean? Should children be tested as frequently as they are? And most
importantly, should the ability to pass on to another grade or to graduate
from high school be based on only one test? With so many questions arising
from these tests, the answer is to take a stand against them.
Perhaps a brief history will provide a better understanding of the standardized
testing system. In the 1980’s, the National Governors Association
pushed for states to have performance-based accountability of their school
systems. Basically, states would grant schools more flexibility in what and
how they chose to teach in return for more accountability for academicbased
performance. In 1994, Title I, “the largest federally funded education
program” (http://www.doe.mass.edu), actually required that all states create
performance-based accountability systems for schools (Elmore 2). Now,
with the introduction of the Bush administration’s No Children Left
Behind, all states are required to annually test their students in order to
receive federal grants (Romano 1). In Bush’s attempt to make sure that our
schools are held to a high standard, he is threatening their funding based
on their students’ performance. Not only are students’ grade advancements
and sometimes graduations dependent upon these tests, but so is the funding
for their schools as well. Teachers can be dismissed or schools shut
down based on test performance. No pressure there, kids.
... middle of paper ...
...ardized tests. Utah’s officials were willing to lose $76 million dollars in
funding by deciding not to follow federal testing standards (Quindlen 2). If
we take a stand, is your state ready to be next?
Elmore, Richard F. “Testing Trap.” Harvard Magazine. 11 November 2005. http://www.
Massachusetts Department of Education. Massachusetts Government. 11 November 2005.
Quindlen, Anna. “Testing: One, Two, Three.” Newsweek. 19 June 2005. 4 November
Romano, Lois. “Test Scores Move Little in Math, Reading. Improvement Appears Slight
Since No Child Left Behind.” 20 Oct. 2005. Washington Post. 1 November 2005.
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