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The Negative Effects of High-Stakes Tests

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Visualize a standardized test taken annually by millions of students in the U.S.A. that directly affects teaching methods, school budgets, and grade promotion. Presently, millions of schools are utilizing high-stakes tests to determine these major factors. The United States expects students to perform well on standardized testing, or school districts will suffer financial consequences under the No Child Left Behind Act (Au 502). This places pressure on everyone from administrators to students in a school district. Schools worldwide are stressed to succeed on these standardized tests when they only measure a fraction of a student’s intelligence. Standardized testing must be discontinued because it negatively affects school curricula, students’ and instructors’ mentality, and fairness of the test for all students.

National standardized testing is a requirement under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which promises parents that: instructors will teach more efficiently, students will be motivated, and school systems will operate more productively (Nicolas 42). All of these promises are said to lead to better education for students, especially those who are raised within minority groups (Nicolas 45). The primary purpose of standardized tests is to evaluate students and show whether or not the standards of the standardized test was met in the school. However, the risks of these tests outweigh the benefits. A standardized test is not the sole test that determines the level of the student’s intelligence. Standardized tests place pressure on teachers to instruct a group of diverse students who are all on different academic levels. When students score poorly on standardized tests, school districts are coerced to lose federal education f...

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...ngle test that does not even measure the entirety of a student’s intelligence. School districts who are afforded minimal test preparation cannot expect their students to successfully pass as well as the students in another school district who can afford a plethora or test preparation. Hence, these poor school districts suffer from the state education officials. Standardized tests cause schools to focus more or their instructional time on the test instead of focusing their teaching on the other skills students need to succeed in life. This test preparation even removes any chance of students being able to broaden their horizons with other supplementary education since test preparation commonly involves memorizing the same facts or knowledge. Standardized tests are an abomination to a student’s intelligence, teachers’ creativity, and school districts’ productivity.
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