Standardized Testing Has a Negative Effect on American Youth

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It is 1917. You are a young American man who has enlisted in the armed forces, but before you are shipped off to France, you have to take what is known as an Army Alpha Test. Your scores will be compared to more than a million others and the results will determine whether you are placed in an officer training program or simply thrust onto the battlefield. High stakes were placed on this test 93 years ago; high stakes are placed on tests modeled after them today. The standardized achievement tests commonly used in schools today evolved from the Army Alphas developed by the American Psychological Association. This is precisely the problem. Standardized tests are old and outdated, and the harm they cause to America’s education system by far out-weighs the benefits. These tests were intended to monitor and offer ways to improve how public schools function, but instead they have impaired the natural learning ability of students and imposed upon the judgment of experienced educators. Although a means to evaluate the progress of public schools in necessary, it is also necessary to develop more modern and effective ways of doing so. Standardized testing mandated by the federal and state governments has a negative effect on the education of America’s youth. One problem with standardized testing is that it narrows curricula to what the tests assess. Since the tests focus on math and reading, educators often overlook other core areas. There are eight different types of learning that educators recognize in students. These include math/logic, linguistic, visual/spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, musical, and kinesthetic. Standardized tests used in schools only test math/logic and linguistic skills, so students who are strong... ... middle of paper ... ...achieving high scores on standardized tests” (Solley).Because of this, teachers take more time to teach test preparation skills than valuable information (Neill, 165). Although standardized tests have been trusted for years to assess the progress of students, there is little evidence that they measure progress accurately. Works Cited Miltich, Matthew. "Standardized Testing and Assessment Do Not Improve Education." Education: Opposing Viewpoints. New York: Greenhaven, 2005. 151-54. Print. Neill, Monty. "The No Child Left Behind Act Is Not Improving Education." Education: Opposing Viewpoints. New York: Greenhaven, 2005. 162-68. Print. Solley, Bobbie A. “Standardized Testing Has Negatively Impacted Public Schools.” Opposing Viewpoints: Education. Ed. David M. Haugen. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Web. 5 May. 2010.
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