Standardized Testing Is Inaccurate For Teacher Evaluation

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The United States of America is ranked 15th in the world for it’s quality of education. Improvement in our education system is necessary if we want to keep up with the best nations in the world. Over the past ten years, a new push has been made to improve education in America through programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. States across the country are assessing teachers and schools by using standardized test scores. By using standardized test scores, states link high stakes to the results such as grant money, salary, and jobs as incentive to improve the scores for the following year. In Wisconsin and other states, 50% of these evaluations are based solely on how students score on these tests making the results have a critical impact, affecting not only the futures of the students, but also the futures of their teachers. Although it is important to give schools and teachers feedback so that they can better educate students, high-stakes testing should be used minimally for this purpose because of the lack of conclusive results they produce, and the detrimental effects that they can have on students, teachers, and even the whole schooling community. The first problem with evaluating schools and teachers with standardized testing is that the scores are so heavily correlated with factors other than intelligence. Background factors like like their family’s socioeconomic status or disabilities that a student may have all affect a students ability on a standardized test. Proponents of the use of standardized testing to evaluate schools and teachers argue that standardized tests are a fair and objective way of evaluating students because it is a common standard for everyone. The problem in their argument is that not all s... ... middle of paper ... ... Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers. Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #278. 2010 , Economic Policy Institute, 13 November 2014. http://www.epi.org/publication/bp278/ Kohn, Alfie. "The Real Threat to American Schools." Tikkun. March/April 2001: 25+. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 18 Nov 2014. Teachers Need Real Feedback. Perf. Bill Gates. TED. The Sapling Foundation, May 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. . Strauss, Valerie. "Massachusetts Professors Protest High-Stakes Standardized Tests." Washington Post. 22 Feb 2013: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher.Web. 17 Nov 2014. "What the Research Says on Teacher Evaluations." Learn More About Teacher Evaluations. New York State United Teachers, Nov. 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. .
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