Standardized tests have been a scourge of student life in America for more than fifty years. Throughout the United States, high school students prepare for months for the day in which they have to take out their No. 2 pencils, to endure four everlasting hours of bubbling-in answers. The ACT, American College Testing, and its counterpart, the SAT, Scholastic Assessment Test, are known as the high school exit exams, in which they have become one of the largest determining factors in the college-admissions process. Both standardized tests judge a student 's performance, in which it measures how well students learned skills to meet state standards. Although standardized tests are meant to measure what one learns in high school in order to determine
The world is no longer concerned with educating whole human beings, but instead, it is focused on collecting “data.” “Standardized testing robs students and teachers of using their creativity and critical thinking. It holds everyone accountable for meeting this one standard when that is nearly impossible to do. It turns us into robots, dehumanizing both teachers and students.” (Gettysburg College, 1) Standardized test are given to schools by the government. The problem with that is that the government is not in the classroom with students every day. They do not know what the students need. Standardized testing takes away time from student learning experiences where they are not able to think critically or be creative. Standardized tests take place in an artificial learning environment. They are timed, students are not allowed to ask questions, use references, talk to another student, and they cannot even get up and move around. All of these things do not mirror the reality of the real world at all. These tests are reducing the richness of human experience and human learning to a number/ set of numbers. A student may have a deep knowledge of a particular subject, but receive no acknowledgement for it because their test score may have been low. Maybe if students could draw a picture, lead a group discussion, or make a hands-on project, they could show all the knowledge that they really have. They cannot do any of these things in a standardized test. As stated before, testing also creates “winners” and losers.” The “winners” get to move on with their life, but the “losers” often suffer from loss of self-esteem and the damage of “low expectations.” Standardized tests do not value diversity either. There are a wide range of differences in the people who take standardized tests. People have different cultural backgrounds, different levels of proficiency in the English language, different learning and thinking styles, different
Standardized tests have been a controversial issue regarding whether they are helping or hurting students and their academics. People that are for standardized testing argue that the tests are fair because all students nationwide are learning and being tested on the same thing. Bruno, Kemmerling, and others agree that these tests are beneficial to schools, students, and teachers. Others who are against standardized testing disagree because teachers are only teaching to the test. Littky, Caines, and Hanford see the negative aspects of standardized testing and want to change how people perceive it. Both sides of the issue have a credible argument.
The U.S is now facing a problem that affects children today and in the future. These children are the future of the U.S, so shouldn’t they all have the highest quality of education possible. Through new policies implemented by the Board of Education, education has become a competition for schools to earn their funding. The Race to the top is a mandate (p.81) which is a formal order from the national government that the states carry out certain polices, is supposed to create incentive to improve and reform schools (ESEA Blueprint for Reform, 2009), by requiring evaluation systems of teachers to compete with other schools (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012). Race to the top has created pressure on states, districts, and teachers to improve test scores as a means to earn or keep funds. The act also rewards districts and teachers that show improvement according to student’s standardized test scores and enforces reform on schools that do not improve or meet the requirements (ESEA Blueprint for Reform, 2009). Pressure can lead to districts, principle or teachers to cheat, so they may keep their jobs or keep their funding (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012). Teachers, principals and districts salaries are based on rigorous evolutions that are based on student’s standardized test scores. This can also determine who is hired and fired, and which schools get funding and how much funding they will receive (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012).
Put yourself in a high school students shoes. Your main focal points are to do well in school, get good grades, learn new things, make memories, and to have fun. Though many schools place a fun and constructive learning environment over a stressful test based environment, some do not. Schools have made standardized testing their main focus instead of teaching students other equally important skills. ( ProCon. "Standardized Tests - ProCon.org.) Many schools are so focused with test scores that they change their curriculum to include a large amount of test preparation. (ProCon. "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. (Ravitch.152 ) Not only is testing used to evaluate a student, but also teacher achievement. (ProCon. "Standardized Tests - ProCon.org.) Holding educators accountable for test scores places an unfair amount of stress on all parties involved, as well as inducing a difficult working atmosphere. (Brill, Allie. "Standardized Testing Leads To Unnecessary Stress On Students, Teachers.") Standardized testing generally imposes harsh consequences that bring many different problems, which often lead to dishonesty and a narrow perception of education from students and educators. (Gatt, Jeneba. "Atlanta's cheating ways: S...
The current first lady Michelle Obama once claimed “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn't be here. I guarantee you that.” Basically, she is saying that standardized tests are not a good way to measure someone’s mind. When schools give students standardized tests it only stresses them out even more than what they already are. Studying for a standardized test can be very hard because the students have no idea what to study, and neither do the teachers. There are three reasons why we should not have standardized testing: standardized tests don’t measure teachers effectiveness, students and teachers cheat under pressure, standardized tests don’t value creativity.
Teachers and administrators in the Atlanta public schools system for instance, were indicted this year in an alleged scheme of inflating their students’ test scores to avoid sanctions and secure performance-based bonuses” according to “High Marks for Standardized Tests.” This what standardized testing has made people do. Standardized testing has not only has caused stress to educators, but to students and parents as well. It causes people to feel that if they don’t pass that one test, that there whole life is over. In a way there life is over. According to “High Stakes Testing Pros and Cons” by Roberta Munoz “teachers are often feel like they are compelled to teach the test”. Which is not a good thing because teacher are suppose to teach what they feel like is going to help a student in life. “Many student who have to repeat a class usually drop out”(fairest, 2012).Now that does not seem like a good thing, we are suppose to encourage these kids to stay in school not drop out. Parents also feel stressed out with this situation according to “High Stakes Testing Pros and Cons”. “The pressure is overwhelming” according to “High Stakes Testing Pros and
Though standardized testing has played a part in America's education system it took several tries before it played such a large role in education like it does today. The No child left Behind Act of 2002 was the foot hold standardized testing needed in order to be implemented into schools at a national level with such force. During the 1990’s the U.S felt as though it was falling behind on the Programme for International Assessment. “After No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading”(walker 1).
Standardized testing assesses students, teachers, and the school itself, which puts a great deal of pressure on the students. High scores show that the school is effective in teaching students, while low test scores make teachers and schools look as though they are not teaching the students properly. This is not always the case. There are teachers who do teach students what they need to know to pass the test, but their students are still unprepared. Although teachers try to improve instruction, student performance is still variable to other factors that the school cannot control.
As child growing up some of the frightful memories include a visit to the dentist; an evil man with scary drill whose solve purpose is to hurt you or the first day in elementary school you finally leave all behind the cozy classrooms and nap times of kindergarten and enter the big leagues. All of these are considered a cakewalk compared to standardize testing. Since the start of elementary school students in the United States are taught to test. In many instances students are held back or placed in remedial classes because of lower grades. But many don’t realize that some students are not great at testing taking and because of the lower grades some educators believe that these students are lower achievers. This leads to lower self-esteem and encourage students to drop out in later years. Also students are forced to memorize information merely as facts without sparking their creativity or enhancing their knowledge.