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No Child Left Behind

April 29, 2011 5 comments

Since the 2005-2006 school year policies have been set in place to require standardized testing to be given to students from third to eighth grade. These tests are focused on the area of mathematics and reading. As of the year 2007, students have been required to be tested at least once in elementary school, middle school, and high school in the area of science. The tests must meet certain standards that are set by each individual state. The results from each school must meet a “proficient” level as set by the state by the 2013-2014 school year and display “adequate yearly progress”. Any student in a school that fails to meet these standards three years in a row must be offered services including private tutoring (No Child).

Well, that’s the technical side of it at least. In reality, No Child Left Behind and other standardized testing requirements do not provide a genuine assessment of students, nor do they allow for a means of improvement in schools. They fail to take into account the fact that some children can’t keep up with the material. If a student can’t pass a class, they were previously kept back to repeat the class. Now, with the passage of NCLB, teachers must make accommodations for these children to ensure that their test scores are high enough to keep the schools operating under the faculties they have (Pros and Cons). Not only do the students suffer in this, but the well being of what will someday become the working population does as well.

Special Education teachers have it the worst. They are fighting a losing battle when they try to prepare students to take tests that will determine the rest of the child’s life. They are being taught math that they will never use, and science that has no lifetime relevance. They are being forced to structure sentences and regurgitate dates on a test. Special Education children are being dealt the worst blow of all of this. They are passed under the table so that they don’t have to continue to fail standardized tests, so that the schools will be able to raise their overall average. They are allowed to graduate without the faintest idea of when the Indian-American war was, and they can’t tell the difference between granite and grammar.

The standardized testing in the United States is a joke. Not all students are cut out to go to college, or to take careers that would require many of the skills learned in typical high schools. In Ohio, even those students attending a Vocational School must take the Ohio Graduation Test their sophomore year before they are permitted to graduate. They must pass all of these tests, which take a week of time, as well as take away from time that the students spend in their labs, learning a trade that will come to their benefit later in life.

Standardized testing also takes the originality out of schools. This especially effects the arts. Music and Art classes are the first to be cut when test scores are low and schools lose funding. The other extra-curricular activities are next to go, including agriculture, shop, and home etc. It affects the other core classes as well by forcing them to teach from strict guidelines that were distributed by the state in order to prepare their students for testing. Fun activities and new materials are often cut from curriculums. This is especially true for the English department. They are forced to focus on the test materials, and not on the things that the students are truly interested in. They are forced to strip classic literature from the curriculum in favor of more mainlined grammar and composition work.

Standardized tests are doing a great disservice to the youth of America. They are being forced to learn streamline material and they lack the depth and well-rounded knowledge of many of the generations before them. Although NCLB is a great idea in theory, in actual practice it fails as a means of showing growth of students (Pros and Cons). A two part test to show the relative development of each student as an individual would be much more effective in rating how educators are doing, but the government would much rather serve up standardized slop and expect the educators and the youth to accept it with a blind eye to the problems it creates.

“No Child Left Behind.” Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education, 21 Sept. 2004. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.

<http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/no-child-left-behind/&gt;.

“Pros and Cons of No Child Left Behind.” Educational Research. Nov. 2006. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.

<http://www.ernweb.com/public/892.cfm&gt;.

Categories: Standardized Testing

Standardized Testing

April 27, 2011 9 comments

Do you remember the five minute warnings? Recall that feeling of utter relief when you reached that last “STOP” in your answer booklet. It seems like ancient history for those of us that have graduated high school, but it is still a reality for many unfortunate American students. Some students, including me, quite enjoyed the week of standardized testing.  It was one of the more relaxed weeks. However, has it taken away from the original purpose of education? Isn’t the purpose for students to learn and master as much as possible? With our current system they certainly “learn” a lot. They also forget a lot, and miss many important topics. Certain things can’t be covered because the teacher fears that if the topics on the tests aren’t covered, it will be their job that is at stake. On top of that, even some of the topics that are taught sometimes are not covered for as long, or as in depth as they should have been. The quality and the quantity of teaching time on some subjects is lessened by the teachers’ rush to carry on and touch on all of them so that the students would excel on standardized testing. So students are left to memorize formulas and definitions, sometimes with very little actual understanding because they know that what is important to them is filling in the right bubble. Have we strayed so far from what education was intended to be?

                Initially standardized testing was simply intended to help sort out which schools need to work on what subject area in future years. Unfortunately instead of being a test of the standards set for a school, standardized tests have become the standard within themselves. When the state official chooses what the students should know, he will often expect the students to know everything about the subject matter they are being taught, according to professor emeritus at California University, and author of twenty five books, W.  James Popham. He further explains that “the resultant litanies of committee-chosen content standards tend to resemble curricular wish lists rather than realistic targets.” The natural response of the educators in the school system is to become overwhelmed with all of the matter they feel they should cover, and end up feeling forced to choose what is most important. Popham asserts that this leads to a serious issue in that students end up not having really mastered a lot of the content they were “taught” throughout the school year.

Some may question what, if we get rid of standardized testing, would we do to keep the teacher’s accountable? If the teacher’s make all of the tests themselves, wouldn’t they simply be more centered on what the teacher knows they have taught well? I, unfortunately, cannot refute this argument. However, in order for the system to be reformed, it doesn’t necessary demand that we get rid of standardized testing, but simply change it and make it more beneficial for the students while at the same time testing the teachers.

When I was in High School, I noticed the teachers’ constant emphasizing on what we’d be tested on at the end of each year. What would follow was the realization that most of the stuff I was supposed to have learned, I forgot about because the teacher had such limited time to cover the more difficult content. With standardized testing, the teaching style was based off of quantity of information and not so much quality. So re-learning things the following years was always a necessity, even though we were allegedly to have “mastered” it. Hence why it would be put on the test, correct? Formulas forgotten, and definitions left to be learned over again, standardized testing does no more, in its current state, than to prove how well a student can how much information for a relatively short period of time.

Do I believe that standardized testing should be completely deleted from our educational system? No, I don’t hold that opinion at all. I honestly don’t see any other way to test a teacher’s quality of work without some sort of test being created from an outside source. However I do believe that the current ideas for how standardized tests should be created and given out are very faulty and need reforming. I think that they should be created in such a way as to test the already clearly laid out curriculum. Thus far the tests themselves seem to vaguely lay out the curriculum.  They have become the alpha and omega of a teacher’s duty, and not simply a determiner of the teacher’s work ethic and skill.

Works Cited

Popham, W. Edutopia. The George Lucas Educational Foundation.  Web.

http://www.edutopia.org/f-for-assessment. 4 April 2011.

Stake, Robert. Phi Delta Kappa International. Nov. 1991. Web.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/20404603?seq=1. 4 April 2011.

Categories: Standardized Testing

ACT/SAT: Too Much Pressure

April 26, 2011 1 comment

Should the results of one test have as big of an impact as deciding whether or not you get accepted into the University or College that you wish to attend? In my opinion one test should not be the reason someone doesn’t get into college; on the other hand without entrance exams there would not be a set limit for the acceptance of students that wish to attend a cetain college. Entrance exams do not prove how successful your high school career was. Entrance exams also do not show how effective your work ethic is. However we must take into consideration the amount of applicants that colleges receive per year along with the many different grading scales that high schools have created.  Universities must set qualification in order to eliminate applications. The question is; should entrance exams be eliminated?

There are two sides on the issue concerning whether or not entrance exams should be eliminated. The side supporting the elimination of entrance exams gives the arguments that entrance exams provide a disadvantage for people of minorities, people of the female gender, and people with poor economic standings.  The opposing side of the issue provides the argument that without common standard colleges can’t eliminate applicants. The opposing side argues that grade inflation makes it difficult for colleges to base acceptance on grades based on the accuracy of the student’s academic achievement.

The argument that supporters of eliminating entrance exams relates to the disadvantage of minority, female, and people who have little money. Experts that support this argument have explained that entrance exams underestimate college performance of students based on the results of entrance exams.  According to Donald Stewart the president of College Board, “increasing reliance on standardized tests as affirmative action laws are struck down could lead to simply the registration of higher education.” This expert is saying that colleges rely on entrance exams when eliminating applicants and should rely less on entrance exam. An accurate example of the misleading results of entrance exams is the fact that females tend to have lower scores on entrance exams compared to men but are more successful in college.  Another example that could support that entrance exams are biased could be the difference in scores on entrance exams between minorities.” Christopher Jenks, a professor at Harvard University explains that entrance exams make it difficult to obtain the goal of racial groups accepted in college in the United States. The lower test scores are the biggest setback to racial equality.”

The opposing argument that is against eliminating entrance exams make the argument that without a set qualification or standard colleges would not have an efficient way to determine what the qualifications and which applicants meet the criteria. Supporters argue that entrance exams are used to determine which students are more likely to be successful in college. Entrance exams are not based on gender or race. Another argument to support entrance exams is that also explain that high school grading has a tendency of teachers giving higher grades then in the past. According to my research in 1987 students with A minus or above grade point average was at 27% and in 1996 jumped to 36% at the same time the students A minus and above grade point average score on entrance exams like SAT and ACT dropped 15 points. This statistic proves that grades are being given not accordingly to what the students actually obtain academically and they are not reliable when it comes to making the decision whether or not a student will be successful in college.  Supporters argue the difference of scores between social groups such as minorities and females are not because of the test. The difference could be factors such as; the students home environment, the quality of the school, and also money. Supporters say it is not possible to eliminate standardized testing becomes colleges have to many applicants to eliminate. California University at Berkeley receives 27,000 applicants a year for a class size of 3,500 students.  The opposing side has brought up the solution of not eliminating entrance exams but for teachers to try and help students to meet the standard that is required.

In conclusion in my opinion entrance exams are the best ways to determine which applicants get accepted and applicants are turned away. Grades are not the best solution to eliminating the entrance exams. Grades are not the best solution because teachers give students grades that haven’t been earned and not based on the student’s academic achievement. Entrance exams also are helping when admitting students because it sets the qualifications.

Work Cited

“College Entrance Exams.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 12 Mar. 1999. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.2facts.com/article/i0400520&gt;.

Categories: Standardized Testing

Standardized Testing: To be or not to be that is the Question

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment


Standardized Testing, most of us have experienced it to some degree. In recent years however, standardized tests has become increasing used in the educational system. Schools have changed a lot since I have been in the secondary school system; but the debate of standardized testing is one that remains to be same. This debate comes down to one simple question “Should standardized tests be used in evaluating a student’s potential progress in post-secondary education or should we discontinue the use of our current tests for a more user friendly approach.”

Standardized tests whether it is the SAT or ACT for admission to colleges, the SSAT for private school or the GRE (Which in most states is the test that is required for admission to graduate programs) play a huge role in the admissions process. The formatting of these tests are very simple “Standardized;” the creators tried to make a test that would be the same throughout. This way the test would not give an advantage to anyone who had access to better resources, or create a disadvantage to those who come from a less funded district. Although students who go to prep schools may have other advantages, Standardized tests are generally designed so that everyone who takes them has the same opportunities to perform to the best of their abilities.

If standardized tests are designed to be neutral in the content that is covered, why do supporters of education argue that these tests should be abolished? Standardized testing tends to have a strict, uniform administration and scoring procedures, which in term ranks a significant amount of students relating them to their level of achievement in a specific area of knowledge. This procedure tends to make students feel pressured which may affect the way they score on the test.

College admissions’ testing has been around since around the early part of the 1900’s. But for the past few years, more and more researchers are bringing forth information over the use of these tests in College admissions. Due to this information that has been introduced, some colleges no longer require students to submit ACT or SAT scores and have even gone as far as to implement a test-optional policy. The debate of the use of standardized tests in college admissions continues to be an ongoing topic in the educational system.

Supporters of standardized testing, in regards to the admission process say that the SAT and ACT serve as a national standardized scale that is practical in determining how prepared students are for college level course work, also they are effective in preparing students for college, give schools an offset in grade inflation and are objective.

On the other hand there are some who argue against the use of these tests, their claim is that standardized tests use to be an effective method in determining college admissions, but are no longer effective.  Supporters of creating a new system for college preparation and admissions argue that standardized tests are biased against certain groups, add more stress in student’s lives and tend to impede assessment of more important skills. Other factors that can affect a student’s overall performance on a test are: Time, Other outside forces, lack of sleep, illness and the most common factor which is not being a test taker.

Standardized tests have made many Educators question whether or not the use of standardized testing is creating more achievement for students or causing more underachievers and even dropouts.

From my experiences with standardized testing, I feel there has to be better methods for evaluating a student’s success rate in college level course work. Testing has always been a problem for me, when applying for colleges and in my case teacher education programs, ACT and/or SAT scores are a huge factor in determining what classes you can get into. Almost everything that deals with your college education is based off of test scores, which in opinion needs to be changed.

I agree that testing is here for a reason, It is here to evaluate student progress and to monitor subjects areas that need to be improved, which give students better opportunities to help them succeed, however there are other tests available for students and schools to monitor these skills other than using standardized testing. And one person argued just that.

Richard C. Atkinson, the former president and regent of the University of California presented his proposal during the annual meeting of the American Council on Education; he argued that standardized tests might not be the most effective measure in evaluating students over-all abilities when it came down to college admissions. Although most colleges and universities today require such scores he felt that Achievement tests were a lot fairer to students because it allows them to be measured on accomplishment rather than aptitude. These tests can also be used to show areas of improvement based on student performance; Achievement tests are less likely to include cultural and socioeconomic bias and are a more appropriate method for schools because it gives very clear guidelines that are based on curricular standards set by the school. These tests also allow students to see that a college education is an option for anyone who has the determination and talent to succeed.

In conclusion I feel that using achievement tests instead of requiring students to take standardized tests would allow schools to teach more of the curriculum and move away from teaching from the tests they are required to administer. I also feel that colleges and universities should move to re-define their testing policies to reflect an optional use for Standardized test scores. This would allow schools to better reward the excellence accomplishments by students and would lessen the barriers that students face when realizing their potential.

Sources:

“Arguments for and Against Standardized Testing in College Admissions.” ECampusTours. 03 Feb. 2009. Web. 05 Apr. 2011.<http://www.ecampustours.com/collegeplanning/testtakingsatact/argumentsforandagainststandardizedtesting.htm&gt;.

Atkinson, Richard C. “Achievement Versus Aptitude Tests in College Admissions.” University of California | Office of the President. University of California, Dec. 2001. Web. 05 Apr. 2011. <http://www.ucop.edu/pres/speeches/achieve.htm&gt;.

Edwards, N.T. “The Historical and Social Foundations of Standardized Testing . . . by by N.T. Edwards.” JALT | Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn. Yamaguchi University, 1 Mar. 2006. Web. 05 Apr. 2011. <http://jalt.org/test/edw_1.htm&gt;.

“Richard C. Atkinson.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_C._Atkinson&gt;.

“The ACT: Biased, Inaccurate, and Misused | FairTest.” The National Center for Fair & Open     Testing | FairTest. FairTest, 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. http://fairtest.org/act-biased-inaccurate-and-misused.

Categories: Standardized Testing

Standardized Testing: Is it really needed?

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Everybody has taken some form of standardized testing during their educational careers. You are told about this very important test and your teachers and/or professors prepare you for weeks for this one test. The tests also deal with your future educational plans. Colleges and Universities look at your scores for admission to their schools and if it’s not high enough, they won’t let you in. So you’re freaking out and preparing yourself for this test because it’s so important. I remember taking the ACT my junior year and having the feeling that your future would be ruined if you couldn’t ace this huge test. Does standardized testing really show a student’s potential? Are these tests actually helping education or making it worse?

In “Standardized Testing for Outcome Assessment: Analysis of the Education Testing Systems MBA Tests” by Robert E. Wright talks about how a certain group of top students were actually missing some of the questions that were supposed to be just basic questions. https://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=7af1c70b-4ae7-481a-a66a-382447411d69%40sessionmgr104&vid=11&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ917208 It said that in the marketing part of the test, the top 5% of students were only getting 69% of the questions right so how are these basic questions? In this article Wright says the problem might not be the MBA students but the company that they got their tests from which was the Educational Testing Service or ETS.  He also describes how if the students and professors were evaluated with this test, then the professors are going to try really hard to make sure the students score their best. So they would just be teaching them how to take this certain type of test. They wouldn’t be focused on what’s going on in the class but making sure they do well on the test. Wright also talks about how these professors have discussed and taught these students the whole semester and then they are supposed to give a test designed by “outside experts”. This test is made up of 5 subparts which lasts about 36 minutes, but how can this test sum up what was taught the whole semester? If they are only 36 minutes each and you have this class 3 to 4 days a week for an hour, that just doesn’t seem very fair for them to judge from these test results. You also have to think of how much information that would be on these short subparts. It could be anything from that semester which would be a lot for one to study for!

Also standardized tests are supposed to be just general knowledge questions so they figured that everyone should get them correct, this is one of the reasons why people support the tests. They think that it fairly shows everyone’s general knowledge in an easy way. However, these tests are not very creative when it comes to their questions. So when students answer these questions with creative answers some will be looked at as “difficult to understand, resulting in cognitive bias” http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED506193.pdf .  In Dodge’s essay, “Heuristics and NCLB Standardized Tests: A Convenient Lie”, he explains that these tests are considered an “availability heuristic” because they are a simple and easy way to test children. He also says that they are “over-simplified” and that they are supported because of this. I can see where he is coming from on this point because some people think outside of the box more for certain questions and if it’s not what is written to be the answer the student can get it wrong.

Many students are looked at differently from colleges and scholarships because of these test scores, but many just have test anxieties and have trouble taking the tests. Many kids today go through various forms of stressful situations that can cause them to have trouble taking these tests. These can be anything from the tests themselves to things that are happening outside of school. In the article, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Standardized Test- Taking Ability”, the authors discuss how stressful situations affect people’s test taking abilities. It’s not fair that everyone is judged the same when each person has different stressful situations. https://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=7af1c70b-4ae7-481a-a66a-382447411d69%40sessionmgr104&vid=6&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ876303 There is so much pressure put onto students when they take these tests that they forget what they have learned and just go blank during the tests. Then when they get their results back they feel like they aren’t smart because they didn’t score that high. Like I stated earlier, college admissions look at these test scores to determine if the student gets accepted or not. It’s just very stressful for a student.

In conclusion, standardized testing is not helping our education. It stresses the participants out and it’s not very fair. College admissions look at these scores to determine whether the person should be admitted into their campus. This is bad for the people who have test anxieties and have trouble taking tests. It is also bad for the ones who are a bit more creative than the test itself, because their creativity may not be considered correct. All in all, these tests really don’t show one’s potential and it isn’t helping with bettering our education.

Categories: Standardized Testing

“Free Trip to Outer Space!”

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Would you like to take a trip into outer space? To venture out into the universe and not even know which direction you are headed in?! Well that is just what you can do right after you take your ACT’s or any other standardized test.  These tests are not just graded on intelligence but more so on memory and strategy. There is no telling what grade someone can receive on these tests, so it is literally like shipping yourself aimlessly out into space because there is no knowing where you can go from there.

As many people know, standardized testing is not an appropriate way to show how smart a student is or can be.  From personal experience, when I took the ACT with my graduating class a student with a 3.8 GPA ended up getting a 24 ACT score while a student with a 2.8 GPA got a 28 score. I wondered that, if these scores are not even based upon your grades and the individual then why is this test so important for getting into colleges? This test is not fair to students because it does not take in the account of work ethic or the kind of classes they take. The student with the higher GPA could be a poor test taker and has to study really hard to achieve his or her grades while the student with the lower grades may not study at all and is lazy. This can cause less rewards for being the harder worker. I think colleges should look at the qualities of a student’s character instead of basing their decisions so heavily upon just one test.

Due to the No Child Left Behind Act, standardized tests are mandatory and have started to be taken in just the third grade. This was a thoughtful plan by George W. Bush to make sure that all students where getting the education they need. Although this was a good idea, this can also have a backfiring effect do to the many flaws within the testing. For example, one student may have very well learned his or her studies but just did not answer the questions correctly and have results showed that their education is not the best. On the other hand, a student that has not learned what they have supposed to has a 25% chance on getting questions correct because standardized tests are mainly multiple choice. Congress is under increasing pressure to change No Child Left Behind because it has failed to fulfill its purpose of raising the achievement of all students and closing the gaps among students from different backgrounds. Due to the guessing within these tests, scores can show terribly inaccurate results of what the student population is really learning.

Research has shown that high-stakes testing causes damage to individual students and education. Standardized high-stakes testing( not only the ACT’s) can be looked at as unfair to many students. Simply put, some students just are not as good of test takers as others. This could be just an individual problem or issues such as being disabled, being in a failing school, or the type of environment a student lives in such in living in a low-income family.  It is not a reasonable method for improving schools either because this can cause teachers to teach to the test and completely avoid all other information that can be equally important for a student to know. Lastly, low scores given to poor test takers can greatly lower his or her confidence in school and life as a whole which in turn could result in them dropping out.

Referring back to the title of this blog post, standardized testing I believe is similar to taking a trip out into space because the test scores can be very biased and inaccurate. If a student is taking the ACT and wanting to get into colleges, there is no telling that once they turn in that test, what score they will receive. And because these test scores are so heavily weighted today, a test score can actually dictate where a student can and cannot go to school. So literally, turning in your test and waiting for the scores back is like being out in space, not knowing where your life will be headed next.

In closing, standardized tests should not be so heavily weighted do to the negative impact it could have on a student’s or teacher’s life. No matter how smart a person could be, the scores do not necessarily show the same results. No matter how smart you are, your score can be deceiving. It’s like taking a trip to outer space; you never know where you’re going to wind up!

Categories: Standardized Testing

The Horror Behind Standardized Testing.

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment
 Standardized testing is used all over the United States in the education system. This testing strategy is a series of multiple choice questions asked to students to measure the progress of schools and position students into programs suitable for their skill level. The SAT and ACT are examples of a standardized test used to measure knowledge. The problem with standardized testing is that schools focus too much on teaching students specifically what is covered on the test and do not prepare students for knowledge used in everyday life. Since standardized testing results falls back on teachers, they tend to “teach the test” so that they look good if their students score high. The goal of using these tests, is so each student will have the same learning oppurtunities and become proficient by the time of their graduation.

“Teaching the test” in schools comes with disadvantages; it makes school boring for the students’; it singles students out and changes the environment in the classroom. Like President Barack Obama stated, “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test and it’s not going to make education interesting”. With this said, if schools switched up their curriculum by teaching the fundamentals of each subject rather than teaching the test, students would learn better and become more successful. The focus on these tests has changed the way of education over the past 20 years.

So what is the reason for all the focus on standardized testing? You can blame it on No Child Left Behind. In 2002, NCLB was established to test grades 2-12 on math, science and reading. Schools that don’t pass the qualifications of testing are likely to lose federal funding. Without Federal funding, schools become less developed and don’t create a quality working environment for students. This is a major reason why standardized testing is such a big deal in the United States. Schools have transitioned into a competition among each other state wide. They compete to prove their school is the best. In my high school, when the time came around to taking these standardized test, our teacher would throw us pizza parties, bring snacks, take us outside and give us freedom we usually wouldn’t have just so that we would focus on doing the best we could on the test. For one whole week, the time it took to take the test, our course curriculum was shoved in the closet and locked away.

Because standardized tests are cost efficient and results come back quick, schools assume this is the best way to prove how well their students’ progress. Since the results of the test fall back on the teachers and their pay, students would benefit more if the teachers would teach the curriculum rather than spending all year teaching what subjects are covered on these tests. The fact that every student is given the same opportunity in the classroom is effective, but the student’s home life affects their abilities at school. A study in 1992 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress proved that the number of parents living at home, parents’ educational background, type of community the student is from and the poverty rate accounted for 89% of the differences in state test scores (Kohn).  This means that students coming from low income families and minority group backgrounds are more likely to be placed in remedial classes and retained in grade which is unnecessary (Fairtest). This is a missed concept of standardized testing. No child is to be left behind, yet these factors play a major role in where that student will be placed in next years class.

Some ways to steer the focus away from standardized testing is to convert to performance based assessments. The United States is one of the only countries to use multiple choice tests to assess our students (Fairtest). Other nations evaluate their students by performing activities, writing essays and doing projects. This will provide answers as to how the student came up with the solution and the techniques to writing which are needed in most careers. By evaluating the students’ problem solving abilities and grammar etiquette, this alone will boost the testing scores and improve the school. Personally, I would much rather be tested on problem solving than reciting math problems and vocabulary.

While the idea of standardized testing sounds good on paper, at work it creates problems. Every child must be given the same oppurtunity, yet they aren’t. Our legislators need to re-think NCLB by either extending it past 2012 or transitioning to performance based assesments. This way, teachers will finally educate students in subjects needed for better experiences in college and careers rather than focusing on getting the best scores on the test.

Works Cited

Anderson, Stacy. “Obama Says Too Much Testing Makes Education Boring.” Online posting. The Associated Press. 28 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. <http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gdJGOtFU8GswdWeK5Ygmb_9jzebg?docId=d0a5297218fd4c5fbb2993c5849e7a4d&gt;.

Fairtest. “How Standardized Testing Damages Education.” Fairtest: The National Center For Fair and Open Testing. Fact Sheets, 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. <http://fairtest.org/facts/howharm.htm&gt;.

GreatSchools Staff. “Whats so Bad about Teaching to the Test?” Www.greatschools.org. Web. 5 Apr. 2011. <http://www.greatschools.org/students/academic-skills/400-teaching-to-the-test.gs?page=5&gt;.

Kohn, Alfie. “Standardized Testing and Its Victims.” Www.Alfiekohn.org. 27 Sept. 2000. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. <http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/staiv.htm&gt;.

Categories: Standardized Testing