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Should Standardized Test Be Abolished from the School Educational System in America?

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  • March 2009
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Should Standardized Tests be Abolished from the School Educational System in America?

The standardized test issues have always been one of the most important issues in the educational system of a country. Standardized test is a test for which norms on a reference group, ordinarily drawn from many schools or communities, are provided (Van Kollenburg, Susan E., 2002). In simpler terms, standardized tests are designed to give a common measure of students’ performance. A very large amount of students graduate every year from schools all over the world. Thus, standardized tests give educators a common model for assessing these students. Standardized tests are also known as high stakes tests. Although the names, formats and manners in which these tests are administered to students differ according to country, the benefits and costs that these tests bring are similar. In the United States of America particularly, it is compulsory for all students graduating from high school to sit for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). The SATs started when in 1933, James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard decided to start a new scholarship program for academically gifted boys. Henry Chauncey and Carl Brigham were given the task in finding a test to evaluate candidates for these scholarships. They came back with recommendation that he used the SAT because he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker’s high school education. Chauncey administered the SAT to more than 300,000 people all over the country in a single day. In 1948, the Educational Testing Service was chartered and the SAT was on its way to becoming the basic college admissions device for millions (Frontline, 2008). To this day the SATs are owed by the College Board, and administered by the Educational Testing Service (Conner, 2001). SAT results are used as one of the primary factors in the selection process of students for college admissions. Influential figures of the society have...