Standardized tests have been debated and argued for as many years as they have existed. It is worthwhile to look at some of the arguments for both sides and find out if there can be some middle ground. Two important factors of standardized tests are the way the tests are administered and how the results are handled. These two issues may be more important than the tests themselves.
There must be ways to have accountability in most areas of society. In schools, we need to know if teachers are teaching and if students are learning. There has to be some way to judge whether the system is working. Standardized tests can show students’ strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, teachers then develop strategies to address the needs of the student that the test has outlined. These tests can help predict selection at college, justification for scholarships, and selection for employment. They can document achievement, both for the student and the teacher. “The fundamental ideas behind the construction and use of tests are not beyond our understanding”. says Andrew J. Strenio Jr. These tests “certify that the examinee does have the requisite skills and competencies needed to graduate from high school programs, practice in an occupation or profession, or receive elevated status within a profession”. (Defending Standardized Testing; Phelps, Richard. We could not function in society without some basic standards and these standards need to be uniform throughout our society. Chauncey and Dobbin write in their book Testing: It’s Place in Education Today: “Every school and almost every teacher uses a test at some point in the process of planning instruction that will fit the student and his capacities”. Standardized testing is just a larger scale for comparison. It offers feedback to the student and the school system about where achievement is in certain
Bibliography: Chauncey, Henry and Dobbin, John E. Testing: Its Place in Education Today.New York, NY. Harper and Row. 1963 Fletcher, D Kohn, A. (n.d.). Standardized Testing and Its Victims. Alfie Kohn Homepage. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/staiv.html Koretz, Daniel Princeton, NJ.Harvard University Press. 2008 National Commission on Testing and Public Policy DeCapo Press. Feb. 2001. Weaver, C. (1990). Understanding whole language: From principles to practice. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.