Standardized Testing

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Standardized testing is the most commonly used and well known method of testing used in the United States and many other countries around the world, but can harm educational quality and promote inequality. Standardized testing is used to determine student achievement, growth and progress. Standardized tests are tests that attempt to present unbiased material under the same, predetermined conditions and with consistent scoring and interpretation so that students have equal opportunities to give correct answers and receive accurate assessments. The idea is that these similarities allow the highest degree of certainty in comparing results across schools, school districts, or states. Standardized tests are also used to determine progress in schools, a students’ ability to attend colleges and universities, and to place students in programs suited to their abilities. Examples of standardized testing currently used in Ohio include the Ohio Proficiency Test, the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT). Standardized testing dates all the way back to the 1880s. When Horace Mann developed a test to administer to a group of students his intentions were to determine how the students were doing at their current levels and decide if they were capable of advancing to a higher level. These early tests had no negative repercussions but rather answered a simple question: Should the student remain at their current level or proceed to the next level of academic difficulty. In the early 1930s the first admissions test was developed by James B. Conant, president of Harvard University. He was searching for a reliable way to measure student achievement without taking into consideration who was taking the test or what background they came from. He believed this would provide a real rationale for excluding those who they did not particularly want to enter Harvard. He was soon proved wrong as those from humble


Cited: Mitchell, Ruth. “The Nature of Assessment: A Guide to Standardized Testing.” The Center for Public Education 26 Oct 2010. http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/site/c.lvIXIiN0JwE/b.5056963/k.C9B6/The_nature_of_assessment_A_guide_to_standardized_testing.htm Stone, J.E. Value-Added Assessment: An Accountability Revolution. Education Consumers Clearing House 28 Oct 2010. http://www.education-consumers.com/articles/value_added_assessment.shtm Hall, Eric. The History of Standardized Testing. e How 26 Oct 2010. http://www.ehow.com/about_5392902_history-standardized-test.html Pandey, Kundan. Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing. Buzzle.com 24 Oct. 2010. http://www.ehow.com/about_5392902_history-standardized-test.html No Child Left Behind Act. U.S. Department of Education ED.gov 26 Oct. 2010. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/states/index.html Student Assessment and Testing. The Mid Atlantic Equity Consortium 25 Oct. 2010. http://www.maec.org/educate/11.html What’s Wrong With Standardized Tests? Fair Test The National Center for Fair and Open Testing. 25 Oct. 2010. http://www.fairtest.org/whats-wrong-standardized-tests

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