The Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

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Standardized testing has taken over the education realm and led to a shift in the institutional goals and values of education. In the last 40 years, standardized exams have changed; they were once used to determine the learning level of students, but now they are being used to determine the teacher’s ability. Standardized tests do not measure education quality and are incorrectly used, leading to the wrongful evaluation of teachers and the limiting of education for students by schools.
One issue with standardized assessments is the psychometric tendency to eliminate test items. According to a 2012 report by the Center for Education Reform, exam developers keep test items that are answered correctly by 40-60% of students because it allows greater score variance. Items answered correctly by 80% or more of test takers usually do not make it past
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As a result, instructors are now told to teach to the test and the amount of material presented to students in class is lessened to emphasize the key points on exams that will improve test scores. This lack of curricular diversity affects students more than any other party involved; students are held back from their ultimate potentials due to the mediocrity of information they are presented at school. No longer are schools attempting to produce brighter and higher achieving students, but rather, students who are good test takers. Although this seems to be against the purpose of education, schools must unfortunately consider these options in order to attempt their state receiving more federal funding due to higher test scores. Standardized assessments prevent educators from exercising their role as instructors of all subjects, schools from attempting to build educated and successful students, and students from constructing thoughts abstractly, rather than to the answer of a
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