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.
Too much time is being devoted to preparing students for standardized tests. Parents should worry about what schools are sacrificing in order to focus on raising test scores. Schools across the country are cutting back on, or even eliminating programs in the arts, recess for young children, field trips, electives for high school students, class meetings, discussions about current events, the use of literature in the elementary grades, and entire subject areas such as science (if the tests cover only language arts and math) (Kohn Standardized Testing and Its Victims 1).
Alfie Kohn, author of The Case against Standardized Testing, recalls a specific incident of how children are being cheated out of valuable class time. He states that a school in Massachusetts used a remarkable unit, for a middle-school class, where students chose an activity and extensively researched it, and reported or taught, it to the class. This program has had to be removed from the course curriculum in order to devote enough time to teaching prescribed material for their standardized tests.
At my high school all students in the tenth grade were required to take the Graduation Qualifying Exam. Many students did not pass the test their first time, and were forced to go through the test up to four more times, and if they did not pass the test in this amount of time, they did not graduate. It is hard to test students in this way since no one was taught the same way all 12 years or learned the same exact things; these differences are why people are different (Popham 2). School is more about testing now, and we have veered away from creative teaching to teach a test. We need to have teachers who inspire kids to want to ...
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... Testing: Pro and Con. Web. 28 June 2015.
Kohn, Alfie. “Standardized Testing and Its Victims.” Education Week. September 2000.
Kohn, Alfie. The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools. Portsmouth NH: Heinemann 2000.
Kohn, Alfie. “The Worst Kind of Cheating.” Streamlined Seminar. Winter 2002-03.
Meier, Deborah. Will Standards Save Public Education? Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.
Morse, Jodie. "Is That Your Final Answer?.” Educational Tests and their Measurements. June 2000. Web. 30 June 2015.