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.
Students have had to rely on just one test to pass them for the whole semester (FairTest). Although the tests require students to retain information until the end of the semester, I believe it is wrong to allow just a single test to decide whether an entire semester’s work will be rewarded will the credit that may have been well earned. Even general standardized tests such as the SAT, which almost every high school student has taken, are not fair to students who may come from a poor educational background (Standardized Minds). Students are at a disadvantage if they have test taking anxiety, a condition that many students suffer from. If a student is having a bad day or going through a rough time on a test day, this may also determine their entire semester’s work.
Multiple choice exams have this problem, they can’t test the information that a person fully knows, it only tests whether they chose the right answer or possibly just guessed it. With only a slew of multiple choice questions it can be easy to get a “good” score or a “bad” score. That’s why these tests are flawed, the results they show don’t prove anything or really show anything for that matter. So, using these long multiple choice exams are what college’s consider to be a reflection of a student’s grades during their first year at college. The test maker itself explains that grade point averages during high school paint a better picture than their tests ("The ACT: Biased, Inaccurate, and Misused" 1).
Putting children into specific classes based on their successes during standardized tests is not fair to kids who had a bad day, missed a bit too much school, or have yet to understand the importance of trying. This not only inaccurately describes a child’s current intelligence, but also can falsely determine his or her future success as a student. Children’s knowledge varies based on many factors including living situation, cultural heritage, and family income. Most schools with low test scores have high diversity and limited resources; these schools are in need of financial support the most. In order to create the best education system, we must adhere to every student’s needs, no matter who they are or how they learn.
We certainly do need methods to assess a student’s academic achievement; the grading system, however, fails to measure students’ work accurately and instead becomes the sole focus of learning. Students often believe that the grades they receive reflect what they have learned, but as shown this is not always the case. Works Cited Catalano, Tammy, Megan Gross, Jennifer Kurth, Stephanie Lovinger. “Grading Students with Significant Disabilities in Inclusive Settings: Teacher Perspectives.” Journal of the International Association of Special Education 13.1 (2012): 41-57. ERIC.
If we are hoping our students will be life-long learners, why would they continue learn in the grade-less post-graduation world? (Schwartz, 2011) Grades do motivate students to do better but, grades cause students to want to get a good grade instead of fully mastering the material. They look at school just trying to pass which promotes cheating on tests and homework. They also will choose the material that is the easiest and choose a class with a professor who doesn’t care to raise their GPA. School is supposed to be about learning and understanding new material to help gain knowledge and a new way of thinking.
Throughout the years, the topic of if grading is appropriate for of judging students work has been called into question. There have been many pros and cons to each side, but yet no final answer has been reached. Some believe that grades are the only true way to determine how a child is doing in school and if they are achieving some of the milestones that they should be. Others believe that grades reduce the student’s quality of thinking and diminish their true interests in an activity. When presented with the option of choosing between the two topics of should schools use a grading system or not, I chose that they should not.
Minimum grading practices generally allow for students to achieve an established minimum grade through a variety of different means designed to keep a student engaged in their studies. The positive impact to the social and emotional well-being of a student educated in a no-fail environment is undeniable; a student will gain confidence and be encouraged to continue to try even if they failed on previous attempts. Opponents of these no-fail policies argue that these programs do not adequately prepare students for life beyond grade school, where failure can have immediate and serious results. Most post-secondary institutions do not advocate no-fail education systems and most employers will find the performance of an employee who does not complete assignments to be unacceptable and fit for termination. As beneficial to the confidence of a student as a no-fail environment is, these programs pose a greater disservice to the same student in their education as well as later in life.
With that being said, students must be guided or coached through school by those around them. This could ultimately lead to false self- value. Self-value is defined as the views or opinions one places upon oneself. In this case, false self-value is that one may be lacking believe and confidence. If the education system changed to the fair share grading technique, students could be led to believe that they are not as smart as everyone else so they should rely on their classmates’
They can break down many different aspects of what students need to improve on and what they are already knowledgeable of. Students need to learn more than just the test information. Only studying and learning test material makes students less diverse and leads to boring lectures in the classroom. Another article written by an organization called Fairtest adds, “Some students simply do not test well. Many students are affected by test anxiety or do not show their learning well on a standardized test, resulting in inaccurately lower scores” (Fairtest).