Standardized Testing in the Us: Why It Does Not Work

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In the United States, standardized testing is used to measure how knowledgeable or unknowledgeable a person is in a particular subject. According to the Council of Chief State School Officers website, standardized tests are defined as “a testing instrument that is administered, scored, and interpreted in a standard manner. It may be either norm-referenced or criterion-referenced” (Council of Chief State School Officers). I believe that this method of testing is not an accurate way of measuring ones knowledge for it is biased towards certain ethic groups and creates unneeded stress for students. This style of testing is biased towards certain ethic groups and cultures because it measures all students on the same level. Different cultures have different ways of thinking or perceiving things, therefore all cultures should not be tested on the same level. Not to say that one culture should be tested on lower level or scale, but a student who was raised in America and one who was raised in France will obviously have differences such as language or social beliefs. According to my psychology textbook, “the impact of experience and cultural values can extend beyond particular items to a child’s familiarity with the entire testing situation. Tests underestimate a child’s intelligence if, for example, the child’s culture encourages children to solve problems in collaboration with others and discourages them from excelling as individuals” (Kail & Cavanaugh).

Standardized tests also create unnecessary stress for students. These tests require students to study or cram for many hours and puts them in a demanding social setting where they are forced to answer difficult questions. “Minority test takers experience anxiety, believing that if they do poorly on their test they will confirm the stereotypes about inferior intellectual performance of their minority group. As a result, a self-fulfilling prophecy begins, and the child performs at a level beneath his or her inherent...
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