It's Time to Get Rid of Standardized Tests

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Since the release of the report by Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in December of 2010 many in the government and community are searching for ways to reform the American education system to give American students the greatest opportunity to succeed. According to the report, American students are not testing as high as other nations in the world (Duncan, 2010). There are many contributing elements that have brought America to her knees in the education system, however, the obsession with standardized testing is found to be one of the most influential downfalls.

Education has always been in existence in one form or another. As each child is born into this world regardless of who or where they are born, life lessons immediately begin. He/she will learn to crawl, walk, and talk by the example and encouragement of others. Although these lessons are basic in the beginning they evolve as the child grows. However, the core learning method of a child does not change. Learning from others, they will watch, listen, and then act for themselves. Thomas Jefferson believed that an education would lead men and women to the ability to be self-governed and become positive contributors to society (Mondale & Patton, 2001). Today, we can see how true this is by the examples of others. Those that are given the opportunity for education are more likely to find jobs and develop skills that not only improve a community, but influence the economic growth of their nation (Ravitch, Cortese, West, Carmichael, Andere, & Munson, 2009, p. 13). On the other hand, if an education is not provided to individuals, they can become a hindrance to that nation’s growth.

With many in government and communities believing that education was the...

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... the ability to govern themselves, if they are to have the ability to contribute to society, and be able to succeed in life, a proper education must be made available to them. Not an education of learning how to take tests, but one of knowledge. An education given to them that teaches them how to apply mathematics in their lives, to use the sciences to understand the world around them, and to be able to read an article, not only to read it, but to be enlightened by its meaning. The Public School is a place that students should want to go, hunger to go. It should not be a place of stress or fear due to an upcoming test. It needs to be a place where all have the freedom and opportunity to learn. Standardized Tests had their moment in time, now the focus needs to be turned to a more in-depth understanding of education by applying what is taught to our everyday lives.
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