Robert L. White
February 2, 2006
In years past thousands of grade school students have been drug throughout the school systems of the United States without a single thought to whether they acquired the knowledge necessary to be successful in the working world or college. Since the signing of No Child Left Behind Act by President George W. Bush, many believe standardized or "high stakes" testing places advantages and disadvantages on some students. Some worry certain students will be unfairly penalized if they do not happen to test well, and teachers may concentrate on the test topics at the exclusion of more important lessons. However, standardized testing is a benchmark that should be practiced in all schools, and not only raises the bar for school systems, but challenges students to learn as well.
There are three key ways in which this type of testing plays a significant role in the preparation of students for advancement. One, it improves the accountability of students and school systems. Two, it motivates students to learn the material rather than just memorizing for tests. Three, it can identify students who are doing poorly early on, and keep them from falling behind indefinitely. There have been many that have gone through public school systems, and been the victim of poorly organized classes. These classes were the product of a teacher who was not qualified to be teaching that subject or a program which had not been thought out. Students find out quickly that because of poor planning by the teacher they can do very little and still get an A. According to Joe Messerli, a writer for BalancedPolitics.org, standardized testing ensures that students are required to learn a minimum amount of material no matter who their teachers are or which schools they go to (2003). Furthermore, standardized testing also holds school systems accountable for the teaching of students. Through
Cited: Messerli, Joe (2003). Should K-12 Students Be Required to Complete State Sanctioned Minimum Skills Tests? Balancedpolitics.org- Required Testing in Schools (Pros & Cons, Arguments for and Against). Retrieved February 2, 2006, from http://www.balancedpolitics.org/school_testing.htm