Essay Are Standardized Tests a Valid Measurement of Student Learning?

Essay Are Standardized Tests a Valid Measurement of Student Learning?

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“Standardized testing is one of the most passionately debated education topics in America” (Baxter, pg. 1). They became much more prevalent after the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act mandated annual testing across the United States. Standardized tests are used to assess students and teachers, however some people object the idea that the performance on a single test is a valid measure of what a student has learned, or what their teacher has taught them. In this paper I will argue that relying solely on standardized testing for student placement damages education.
There are many different types of standardized tests used in schools around the country, but “high-stakes” achievement tests in US elementary and secondary schools have produced the most controversy. “Measurement experts agree that no test is good enough to serve as the sole or primary basis for measuring student learning, achievement gaps, and teacher and school quality, and to impose sanctions based on test scores” (FairTest, pg. 1). First of all, standardized tests are an unreliable measure of student performance because they only measure a small portion of what makes education meaningful. According to late education researcher Gerald W. Bracey, "creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self-awareness, self-discipline, leadership, civic-mindedness, courage, compassion, and resourcefulness” are all qualities that standardized testing cannot measure. The multiple-choice styles of standardized tests encourage simplistic ways of thinking and therefore are believed to be an insufficient assessment tool. Students are required to answer questions where there is only a right or wrong answer, whic...


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... scores to evaluate teachers may also push many talented teachers out of the profession.
Overall, general concepts about education and human rights are prevalent in the success of my argument. Standardized tests pose a controversial issue in education that is prevalent in society today. Standardized tests are becoming more of a norm in schools, and teachers are beginning to increase the number of standardized tests throughout the year. Due to the fact that I am going into the profession of teaching, I have given a lot of thought to this topic. I have come to the conclusion that I do not believe all standardized tests are bad or feel that they should be removed from schools completely. I believe that standardized tests in isolation are not the best evidence of student performance, and that scores should not be used to determine the quality of teachers and schools.

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