The Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing in the US

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Most students, by the time they reach college, have taken numerous MCA tests (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments), NWEA tests (Northwest Evaluation Association), and either an ACT test (American College Testing) or SAT test (Scholastic Assessment Test), depending on which region of the United States they are from. Webster’s defines a standardized test as “any test in which the same test is given in the same manner to all test takers.” Every student who has had any type of education knows what standardized tests are and what a pain they can be. Our students are given standardized tests starting in elementary school, all the way through high school, and even into college. Standardized testing has been a recurring debate among scholars, teachers, and students alike. There are many reasons to approve of, and put to practice, standardized testing, but there are also many reasons why testing in this way hurts our students. Standardized testing, while it is an effective means of analyzing basic knowledge of a large number of people, should not be practiced within the public school system because it causes more harm that good, it does not accurately test individual knowledge, it limits critical thinking skills, and limits the spectrum in which teachers educate their students. Peter Sacks, author of Standardized Minds: The High Price of America’s Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It, says that, “like a drug addict who knows he should quit, America is hooked.” We are a “nation of standardized-testing junkies.” Since the 1960s, there has been criticism against standardized tests in American education. Sales of standardized tests to public school more than double between 1960 and 1989 to $100 million a year. According to researc... ... middle of paper ... ...owledge. If we can start implementing these skills necessary for actual life at a young age, our country will be more successful. If the United States wants to remain a global superpower, we need to start investing in our kids better and with greater intent on improving and challenging them. Works Cited Chappell, Bill. "U.S. Students Slide In Global Ranking On Math, Reading, Science." NPR. NPR, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. . McNeil, Linda M. "Part I, Part III." Contradictions of School Reform: Educational Costs of Standardized Testing. New York: Routledge, 2000. N. pag. Print. Sacks, Peter. "Beyond the Testing Trap." Standardized Minds: The High Price of America's Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It. New York: Da Capo, 2000. 1-9. Print.
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