Harmful Effects of Standardized Testing

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English 1301
July 5, 2012
Standardized Testing
A Fault in School Systems
Standardized testing had become a norm throughout the entire nation. From grade level students to high school students, college admittances tests and post-secondary exams, tests have all been standardized. While it may seem like the most logical way of evaluating students, the problem with these tests is the way that students are now being prepared for them and what the scores are being used to measure. For some schools, they become the sole factor of grade promotion, graduating, funding, admittance, and other important events in a student’s educational career. Standardized tests should not be used in any other place other than a classroom setting for individual student purposes.

One major issue with standardized tests in elementary and secondary schools is “teaching to the test.” Teachers will work their best for their students to meet and even overcome standards set by a school or by the stte educational board. This could cause a teacher to have to forget about certain lessons or subjects they originally planned on administering in order to assure the students understand what will be on a test. In a TES publication, David Marley reported that “Christine Gilbert said the phenomenon [of teaching to the test] had become increasingly widespread, with both primary and secondary school teachers focusing on exam-passing techniques rather than developing pupils’ wider skills and knowledge” (Marley). Students should not be limited in their development just because they are expected to have a certain score on a test.

According to Bill Evers of the Washington Post, there are two purposes for standardized tests. One is to see how much children have learned—this can be called the accountability aspect of testing—and the other is to see where improvements need to be made—this can be called the diagnostic aspect of testing because it is similar to what a doctor does when he is...
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