The Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

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In the United States, standardized testing is used to measure how knowledgeable or unknowledgeable a person is in a particular subject. Standardized tests are exams designed to measure a student’s scholastic performance. These tests are a controversial issue, because some people feel the test do not show the students’ intelligence. I am one of these people. What the test may cover may not be what the students have learned in class. However, some critics feel “that standardized tests allow administrators, teachers, and parents the opportunity to view solid evidence of the students’ performance, which in turn could lead to curriculum changes” (Banta, p.1). Standardized tests also create unnecessary stress for students. These tests require students to study or cram for many hours and puts them in a demanding social setting where they are forced to answer difficult questions.
Standardized testing was once a good idea, to test the students’ capabilities and to see how they compare with other districts, but teachers teach using different methods and focus on different issues. What they think is important may not be what other teachers feel is important or what the state thinks is important. So, as a student you learn more about what the teacher deems important, but are evaluated on by what the state thinks is important. Standardized tests are not a reliable way to evaluate someone’s intelligence. This brings us back to what the students were taught in class and how it has been assimilated. Curriculum is said to be affected by the standardized test. Some critics say, “That teachers are going to teach what will be covered on the test and unfortunately the information not covered on the test is not taught” (Banta, p.2). I know that if st...

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...a greater challenge than what can be tested in a multiple-choice format. Critics of the No Child Left Behind Act say that there is immense pressure on school officials, teachers, students, and parents. That pressure to succeed creates a poor environment for learning—an environment of fear, rather than discovery.
Such tests reward quick answers to superficial questions. They do not measure the ability to think deeply or creatively in any field. Their use encourages a narrowed curriculum, outdated methods of instruction, and harmful practices such as grade retention and tracking. “Standardized testing can be wrongfully used as fuel for those with political agendas. This is a sad reality far too often across all levels of the political realm. Education is a hot political topic and rightfully so, but the center of this debate is often standardized test scores. “(Meador)
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