In 2002 America’s educational system was drastically altered with the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act, a recertification and revision to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was first introduced in 1965. No Child Left Behind founded new requirements including accountability for districts and schools to be measured by standardized testing. No Child Left Behind ushered in a new era of public education centered around standardized testing and the ramifications of this change are still developing over a decade later. Our nation’s extreme focus on standardized testing is detrimental to America’s public education system because it limits the curriculum, reduces student self-esteem and intellectual interest, restricts academic exposure, and results in harming both teachers and schools.
Standardized testing is not a new concept in our schools but the amount of testing and the importance placed on the results in today’s schooling are unprecedented. “Standardized tests have been a scourge of student life in America for more than 50 years, but it 's fair to say they 're more pressure-packed and ubiquitous than ever before” (Fletcher). Students in the United States not only face high school exit exams and tests for admission to college like the SAT and ACT (Fletcher), now children are tested every year starting in third grade.
America’s history of standardized testing can be traced back to military roots in World War I where tests were used to determine which individuals would be suited for higher ranking jobs (Solley). The implementation of standardized testing as a way of comparing and assessing student knowledge became common with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act...
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...t concentration on testing has on teachers.
Teaching has never been a glamorous or lucrative profession but the impossible standards expected of teachers in this era is frightening more people away from the job, not to mention marginalizing and eliminating the dedicated teachers we already have. Excellent teachers are leaving the profession due to frustration, schools are closing and displacing children, and important skills such as critical thinking and problem solving are being replaced with test preparation and drills (Solley). Testing is a prudent assessment tool and should be considered along with other indications to inform of a teacher’s, school’s, or students performance. When we allow these tests to overtake education students suffer the loss of dedicated and creative teachers, exposure to multiple subjects, innovative and critical learning, and much more.
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