The Effects Of Standardized Tests On The World During The Industrial Revolution

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As a senior in high school, I have had more than enough exposure to standardized tests. The ACT, PSAT, ITBS, and countless others have tracked my scholastic progress for the last nine years. Each test takes weeks of preparation for just a few hours of actual test taking. Yet these tests only measure basic subjects such as math, science, and English. What these tests fail to track is students’ abilities to problem solve, empathize, and be honest. Skills that are vital parts of a functioning society. Creating a test that treats the student as an individual would yield better results, and would create a better learning experience for all. Long before the ACT, China was the first documented place to use standardized tests. The government proctored the test to assign jobs to individuals. This idea made its way to the Western World during the Industrial Revolution when children were more likely to go to school than work. However, national tests weren 't given until the College Board created the SAT in 1926. The ACT followed in 1959. The coasts favor the SAT, while the Midwest and South use the ACT (Fletcher). Many argue that standardized tests are essential to tracking progress for students. John Bishop of Cornell University found that nations that require standardized tests perform better on international tests compared to nations that don 't (Walberg). But the National Assessment of Educational Progress disagrees. In 2011, only thirty-five percent of U.S. 8th graders were identified as proficient in math. This places the U.S. in thirty-second place in the world (Peterson). But every state in the U.S. requires tests, so why are students performing so poorly? Phillip Harris states, “…[S]tandardized tests inadvertently create incentive... ... middle of paper ... .... Because students are taking tests that use abilities they naturally have, test taking skills aren’t as stressed. This allows teachers more time to teach their students the actual information they will be tested on. As well as encourage students to think deeply and critically about questions. Changing the current test-taking system would be challenging, but it is possible. Because society is made of individuals, having an individualized test is the best choice for the future of standardized tests. Students that would take these tests would know exactly what to work on, giving them the best education experience, as well as make the United States a competitor on the global stage. And allowing teachers to have more time teaching their students would lead to generations of exceptional problem solvers and critical thinkers that benefit society in the best way possible.

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