What’s So Wrong about Standardized Testing?
Standardized testing in public schools is at an all time high. The state of Pennsylvania starts their testing on children as young as 10 or 11 years of age. Not to mention states like Georgia that begins testing kids while they are still in kindergarten. Many people can step up to defend standardized testing in schools, saying that it is in place to help build up our systems, and help to strengthen and progress the academic success of our young scholars. But others that have first hand knowledge of how standardized testing in schools can impact the ones taking it and the ones administering these crucial assessments might argue that forcing students to take and pass a standardized test will not improve the educational standards or academic achievement in our schools.
Education is the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process. Not only is a solid education a human right, but it is also a major part in our personal development. It’s the tool that makes it possible for us to go out and better ourselves, and to be able to understand what’s going on, as well as contribute successfully in the world today. Having the education to be able to go out in the world, and gain new information and skills in different ways makes us all unique. We have all gained education, but all in our own unique ways. The ways in which we use our education are also used in our own individual ways. So why would a person try to bring us all back down to the same level with a standardized test? Everyone has their own opinion, their own viewpoints, and no two people in this world are the same. So why do these standardize tests judge us, and base our knowledge on a level playing field?
A lot of people are still wondering what a standardized test exactly is, and why it is used on our young students. It is a test that has a serious of questions set with multiple choice answers that is administered to millions of test takers all at once in various parts of the state and country, that is quickly graded using a scanning machine. Because millions of students throughout the country all take the same test, the test is basically a yardstick or a standard of measure that every child is up against. Let’s not get this wrong. We don’t think standardized testing is wrong, it can be extremely useful when trying to determine a problem area, or to see if something you are teaching is getting across to the student. But when “high-stakes testing” comes into effect, that’s when you know that the educational system has a problem.
When the outcome of a standardized test is used as the exclusive decisive factor for making a decision such as graduating from high school or getting promoted to the next grade, or even financial decisions with the school administration, it is known as “high stakes testing”. When a standardized test is administered, it is always given in a controlled atmosphere. In a classroom usually monitored with one or more teachers. A lot of parents think that standardized testing is okay, for the reason that it is material that the student has covered previously, but that is a common misunderstanding. Unfortunately, in a lot of situations, the things that the students are being tested on, is not always equivalent with what the child has already learned in class. When students are taking the test, they are always told where they will take it the test, when the test will be available to them, how long they will have to finish the test, and how they are required to answer every single one of the questions. No matter where you are in the country, every standardized test will be graded the checked the exact same way. When taking the test, there is no room for the individual person to interpret the question the way they see fit.
High stakes testing really can play a huge impact on not only the individual student, but on the teachers, the school, and even as far as the overall city and state....
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