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Not Helping Students At All

The events I remember the most about being in school were all the standardized tests that we had to take. Standardized tests are always made into a big ordeal in schools and if you do not score a certain score you get punished for doing badly. Children feel disappointed if they do not make certain scores, in CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) testing if students do not score above an apprentice they have to take special classes and re take the exam. If standardized testing was banished students would do better and feel less pressure.

There are many problems with high risk standardized testing, and problem number one is that those tests are unfair to the students. Many students come from poorly-funded schools, have reading/learning disabilities, uncertified teachers, small classrooms, etc. I can account to this, I came from a school that was a poorly funded and I have a learning disability, and I never and I mean never did good on a standardized test. There was to much pressure added on from the teachers, that all in all the tests scared the crap out of me and I hardly ever did well.

The second problem is that these tests lead to increased drop out rates and grade retention.  A study conducted by the Chicago Catalyst (independent print and online newsmagazine published by the Community Renewal Society) within the last ten years confirmed that low achieving high school students were suspended during test times or were actually encouraged to drop out of school to enhance test scores. This shows the pressures not only put on the students but also the school and teachers, but that is no excuse to act this way. Students should be taught the material and given chances to improve, not basically being thrown away like a piece of trash because they can not do well on these tests.

Third problem with these tests is that teachers tend to just teach what is on the test and that’s it. Teachers start to throw out the rest of the curriculum and ignore other subjects which should be taught. The make there lessons compliant with the tests format and writing becomes the five paragraph essay. Lower income students usually get less coaching/preparation on how to take test and going over the test curriculum. Which causes worst test scores and just creates a little unending cycle of ill preparation.

Lastly the fourth problem with high risk testing is it drives out good teachers. Since schools encourage teachers to just teach what is on the test, it discourages good teachers from actually doing there job and teaching students the whole curriculum. “Indeed, tests can help school personnel focus in on standards and align what is taught with what is tested.54 Repeated drilling of students with test facts or confining instruction just to the content of the test, however, impairs educational quality.55” (Great Lakes Center p.43)

Now looking at the opposing view point of standardized testing. Standardized testing would be good if you are trying to get scholarships, grants, loans, etc but that is the only use I see for it. Dr. Monty Neill, executive director of Fair Test states the following, “Using one test as a high-stakes hurdle is unfair and often inaccurate, violates the standards of the measurement professions, and damages educational quality.”

Other than that it creates to much pressure on students, and creates many problems in the educational world.

Our problems could be solved by looking at this way that Dr. Paul Houston, executive director, American Association of School Administrators, looks at it, “…public school parents value individual talents and contributions, and know that ‘one-size-fits-all’ tests that take 90 minutes do not take the full measure of a child. We know, for example, that Albert Einstein – who was dyslexic – did not perform well on tests as a child – yet had one of the best minds in our history.” If we could get rid of standardized testing we would lessen the pressure on students, teachers, and schools. We would decrease the drop out rate, created a fairness among the students, teach what actually needs to be taught, and have good teachers. I would standardized testing for scholarships, grants, etc but that would be voluntary. Other than that standardized testing should be banished from schools and it would create a better learning environment and educational world.

Cites:

Cuban, Larry. “The Case Against High Stakes Testing | FairTest.” The National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. http://fairtest.org/arn/caseagainst.html.

Cuban, Larry. “Organizations and Experts Opposed to High Stakes Testing | FairTest.” The National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. http://fairtest.org/organizations-and-experts-opposed-high-stakes-test.

Fairest Test. “The Dangerous Consequences of High-Stakes Standardized Testing | FairTest.” The National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. <http://fairtest.org/dangerous-consequences-highstakes-standardized-tes&gt;.

Amrein, Audrey L., and David C. Berliner. An Analysis Of Unintended and Negative Consquences of High-Stake Testing. An Analysis Of Unintended and Negative Consequences of High-Stake Testing. Great Lakes Center for Education, Research, & Practice, 2002. 1-138. Http://greatlakescenter.org/docs/early_research/pdf/H-S%20Analysis%20final.pdf. Web. 02 Apr. 2011.

Marchant, Gregory J. “What Is At Stake High Stake Testing? A Discussion of Issues and Research.” What Is At Stake High Stake Testing? A Discussion of Issues and Research (2004): 1-6. Google Scholar. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. https://www.kb.osu.edu/dspace/handle/1811/25124

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