Instructor Jade Bittle
23 March 2013
No Child Left Behind? Or all Children Left Behind?
Standardized Testing has been a part of education since the mid-1800s. In 2002 the No Child Left behind Act was put into place, which requires all 50 states to have mandated annual testing. The use of standardized testing in a school can have harsh effects if the scores are too low. It could lead to students being held back, teachers being fired, or if it becomes a big issue even school closings. US students slipped from 18th in the world in math in 2000 to 31st place in 2009, with a similar decline in science and no change in reading. Failures in the system of education have been blamed on the rise in poverty, the ADHD “epidemic”, and teacher failures, but have we ever thought that it could be from standardized testing? If not standardized testing, then what could we do? I believe that instead of standardized testing, we should consider having more parent-teacher conferences or at least communication between the two, and have quarterly performance based assessments.
Some say that standardized testing is fair and a reliable measure of student achievement. ("Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America?") Without the standardized testing, policy makers would have to rely on the school and teachers to individually grade them, and teachers may have “favorable” results. Multiple choice tests are graded by machine and not subjective to human bias. Supporters of the testing say that standardized tests are inclusive because the content and testing conditions are equivalent for everyone. They also say that standardized test are not narrowing the curriculum, rather they are focusing it on important basic skills that all students need to learn. Teaching to the test can be a good thing, it simply means focusing on essential content and skills, eliminating time wasting activities that don’t produce any learning gains, and...