Essay on High-Stakes Testing in American Schools

Essay on High-Stakes Testing in American Schools

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The NCLB Act has obligated the government to find a way to keep track of progress, which, in their minds, is administering high-stakes tests. High-stakes testing is scrutinized all the time, since some believe it is the only indicator of tracking students and teachers. They seemed to have been ridiculed by many and favored by few; nonetheless there are significant disparities in the public’s and government’s opinion. According to Dunne (2000), “Tests aren't just tests anymore -- at least not high-stakes tests, which are being used in some states to determine which students stay back a grade, which high school seniors receive diplomas, which teachers get bonuses, and more.”
The National Education Association (NEA) does not believe one exam should determine if a student moves onto the next grade or graduates, according to Dunne (2000). Promotion exams, which require students to pass comprehensive end of year tests to move from grade to grade, really test for knowledge retention. This does not mean a student cannot succeed at the next grade level. A comprehensive end of year exam does not illustrate whether a student has the aptitude to perform well, which is why they are a weak indicator of academic advancement. Even though there are schools that provide various opportunities to pass the exams, they are detrimental to have at each grade level. Instead of being opportunistic and eager to garner more knowledge, students will become more focused on end of year exams. Therefore, promotion exams facilitate an unhealthy learning environment, which is non conducive to education.
In 2007, there were only seven schools in the U.S. that gave promotion exams, according to Lloyd (2008). This can create an extreme amount of pressur...


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Works Cited
Dunne, D. (2000, July 3). How Important Should One Test Be? Retrieved February 21, 2010 from, Education World Web site: http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues096.shtml
FairTest (2008, January 4). What's Wrong with Graduation and Promotion Tests? Retrieved February 21, 2010 from, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing Web site: http://www.fairtest.org/whats-wrong-graduation-and-promotion-tests
Lloyd, S. (2008, January 2). Few States Require Promotion Exams. Retrieved February 22, 2010 from, Editorial Projects in Education Research Center Web site: http://www.edweek.org/rc/articles/2008/01/03/sow0103.h27.html
Urbina, I. (2010, January 10). As School Exit Tests Prove Tough, States Ease Standards. Retrieved February 21, 2010 from, New York Times Web site: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/education/12exit.html?pagewanted=1

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Essay on High-Stakes Testing in American Schools

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