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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

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Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This reflects the mindset of many people who believe that standardized tests in the United States are nothing more than unfair competitions. Standardized tests have been a fundamental part of the American education system for the past two centuries as an attempt to increase standards and generate justifiable education. Following the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002, the use of standardized testing skyrocketed, mandating yearly testing in all 50 states. Studies conducted by the Council of Great City Schools have found that a usual American student takes…show more content…
There are two main types of standardized tests: achievement tests and aptitude tests. A standardized aptitude test predicts how well a student is anticipated to perform in a succeeding educational setting. The most common aptitude tests are the ACTs and SATs. Both of these tests strive to foretell how well a high school student will do in college. However, achievement test scores are the basis of evaluation of a school’s overall effectiveness. Nationally, achievement tests include Stanford Achievement Tests, California Achievement Tests, Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills. These tests are usually made up of multiple-choice and open ended questions which are scored by both man and machine. Though many styles of standardized tests are in use, achievement tests have triggered the utmost controversy. “These assessments carry important consequences for students, teachers and schools: low scores can prevent a student from progressing to the next grade level or lead to teacher firings and school closures, while high scores ensure continued federal and local funding and are used to reward teachers and administrators with bonus payments” (Morin). These consequences, both valuable and abysmal, are determined by the performance of the test taker, regardless of genuine…show more content…
Many challengers argue that standardized tests do not take external factors into account, for the intelligence of a bad test taker is not reflected on the test. Multiple students develop test anxiety which ultimately encumbers performance. Additional external factors that may impact test performance include bullying at school, conflict at home, and confidence in one’s test taking ability, or lack thereof. Standardized testing also causes teachers to base their curriculum only around the test, hindering students’ overall learning potential. Due to test results reflecting teacher quality, teachers are pressured to fully prepare their students for these tests. As a result, teachers often neglect teaching their students additional skills that extend beyond the exams. Many authoritative figures, including President Barak Obama, have expressed their beliefs that students spend too much classroom time preparing for and taking these exams instead of learning fundamental development skills. USAToday author Christopher Doering authenticates a 2015 presidential conference concerning standardized testing. ‘‘Learning is about so much more than just filling in the right bubble… So we’re going to work with states, school districts, teachers and parents to make sure that we’re not obsessing about testing’’(Obama). Standardized tests only evaluate a student at a singular instance during the school
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