When students score poorly on standardized tests, school districts are coerced to lose federal education f... ... middle of paper ... ...ngle test that does not even measure the entirety of a student’s intelligence. School districts who are afforded minimal test preparation cannot expect their students to successfully pass as well as the students in another school district who can afford a plethora or test preparation. Hence, these poor school districts suffer from the state education officials. Standardized tests cause schools to focus more or their instructional time on the test instead of focusing their teaching on the other skills students need to succeed in life. This test preparation even removes any chance of students being able to broaden their horizons with other supplementary education since test preparation commonly involves memorizing the same facts or knowledge.
Standardized testing is not an effective way to test the skills and abilities of today’s students. Standardized tests do not reveal what a student actually understands and learns, but instead only prove how well a student can do on a generic test. Schools have an obligation to prepare students for life, and with the power standardized tests have today, students are being cheated out of a proper, valuable education and forced to prepare and improve their test skills. Too much time, energy, and pressure to succeed are being devoted to standardized tests. Standardized testing, as it is being used presently, is a flawed way of testing the skills of today’s students.
"Standardized Tests - ProCon.org.) Most schools across America rely heavily on ineffective overuse of standardized testing. The test can be very helpful, but not in intense and stressful situations. (Ravitch.151) Some schools place too much responsibility and accountability on the teachers and educators. (Ravitch.154 ) Critics would argue that certain standardized tests do not meet the qualifications necessary to judge the progress of a student or a teacher.
The majority of parents and students have an opinion on standardized testing, but many people are unaware of the real effect standardized testing has on public school. Michelle Obama, the 44th First Lady of the United States says, “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn 't be here. I guarantee you that.” Standardized Testing should be eliminated from public schools because it negatively impacts the education system. Despite the views of many, it is crucial parents are informed of the true effect standardized testing has on students’ education as well as the way teachers and schools are perceived. Standardized testing takes away from curriculum, does not accurately measure intelligence, and students’
Standardized tests are unfair because they fail to measure students' abilities, they cause an unnecessary amount of stress, and there are too many incentives to teach the test. Like Bert Lance one said, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This is the way many people feel about standardized testing. To them the tests appear to be a reliable and harmless way to measure students’ skills. A June-July 2014 Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 93% of parents say standardized tests "should be used to identify areas where students need extra help" and 61% say their children "take an appropriate number of standardized tests” (Ruby). The issue with those statistics is parents do not know the direct effects of standardized tests, so how could they possibly know the tests’ faults and damage it causes?
The NCLB Act has obligated the government to find a way to keep track of progress, which, in their minds, is administering high-stakes tests. High-stakes testing is scrutinized all the time, since some believe it is the only indicator of tracking students and teachers. They seemed to have been ridiculed by many and favored by few; nonetheless there are significant disparities in the public’s and government’s opinion. According to Dunne (2000), “Tests aren't just tests anymore -- at least not high-stakes tests, which are being used in some states to determine which students stay back a grade, which high school seniors receive diplomas, which teachers get bonuses, and more.” The National Education Association (NEA) does not believe one exam should determine if a student moves onto the next grade or graduates, according to Dunne (2000). Promotion exams, which require students to pass comprehensive end of year tests to move from grade to grade, really test for knowledge retention.
Standardized Testing Scholar Bill Ayers believes standardized testing in schools does not accurately measure what is necessary to be successful in life. Ayers insists that Standardized tests such as the American College Test (ACT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) measure specific facts and function which are among the least interesting and slightest important information that children should know. In an article titled “Testing the Right Way for Talent”, written by Hugh Price, argues the fact that standardized tests fail to capture the qualities that are necessary to be successful in the business world. Another article labeled “Implementing NCLB Assessment and Accountability Requirements in an Imperfect World” composed by Stuart Kahl, is in agreement with both Price and Ayers. According to Bill Ayers, Hugh Price and Stuart Kahl, standardized tests are uncalled excuse for a traumatic and stressful time in a child’s life.
Standardized timed tests are really just about a student's performance in a determined amount of time on a given day. “The passing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 is responsible for this shift toward high-stakes standardized testing, requiring the states to adopt a system of accountability based on standardized test scores”(Tager, n.p.). These days, if a school's standardized test scores are high, people think the school's staff is effective. If a school's test scores are low, they see the school's staff as ineffective. In either aspect because educational quality is being measured by the wrong yardstick, those evaluations are more likely to be an error.
However, achievement test scores are the basis of evaluation of a school’s overall effectiveness. Nationally, achievement tests include Stanford Achievement Tests, California Achievement Tests, Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills. These tests are usually made up of multiple-choice and open ended questions which are scored by both man and machine. Though many styles of standardized tests are in use, achievement tests have triggered the utmost controversy. “These assessments carry important consequences for students, teachers and schools: low scores can prevent a student from progressing to the next grade level or lead to teacher firings and school closures, while high scores ensure continued federal and local funding and are used to reward teachers and administrators with bonus payments” (Morin).
In 2002, President George W. Bush passed the “No Child Left Behind Act” which tied in schools’ public funding to standardized tests and enforced the tests in elementary and high schools every year by state education departments. This law also began to put more emphasize on standardized tests which has diminished our level of education and the law “made standardized test scores the primary measure of school quality” (Diane Ravitch 28). Bush hoped this law motivated more students to do well on these exams and teachers to help them prepare better, but it ended up hurting many schools in the process. These exams like the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) should not play such a prominent role in schooling and the government should not make tests the main focal point. “More than half of public school students in New York City failed their English exams,” (Medina).