Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is a highly debatable topic in which one may choose to or not to limit the usage of standardized testing. These tests should be removed from all high schools nation wide. High stakes testing groups students together, limits educational possibilities, and sets up students for failure. Standardized tests are tests that, house concealed biases. In fact on the 2006 English ten High School Assessments most of the reading selections were about or related to colored people and their hardships. Standardized test makers are supposed to remove biases from the tests however the test makers failed to accomplish this task as the passed the English 10 HSA.

As I sat at my desk with my test laid out in front of me I soon realized as I read through the selections that I would have a slight difficulty retraining the answers the text in order to answer the brief constructed responses. Personally I had problems understanding the plot nevertheless what was going on to tie the sections of the story together. Thus hindering my ability to answer the BCR’s which were related to the selections.

Many American high school students and their families believe that standardized tests are unfair for many reasons. For example parents believe that the tests set students up for failure later on in their life. Another example of this is the fact that as of the of 2005 the graduating class of 2009 all proceeding classes must pass four out of four high school assessments . As well as this , many students find it difficult to pass tests with questions that are worded in an awkward manner. Students are given time in class to prepare students for the test , if students use this time then the students stand a greater chance of passing the test. It is also unfair to pass students onto the next grade even though the student may not have acquired an equitable education. The cause of many students being failures is the simple fact that “good teachers” are fired because they teach the old tests and when it comes time for the students to apply what they have learned, they fail the tests.

Standardized tests also misinform the public. For example, as teachers begin to review the old tests, they soon realize that the information may very well be placed on the new years exams. As teachers hit on specific key points that were covered on the old tests, they unknowingly lower their schools average testing scores because they are only covering the old information covered and not the new topics which have replaced some of the other old topics on the tests. Most standardized tests are not released to the public until it is almost time for the tests to be distributed. High stakes testing is also only a narrow slice of a child’s knowledge. Tests such as the HSA, the SAT, and the PSAT do not measure the non school related topics, standardized testing only measures academic knowledge. These tests do not take it account the environment in which every student enters when he/she leaves the school at the end of every day. Some environments include such factors as poverty, hunger, and even student mobility. All of which can limit how well a student can focus.

There are other and better ways to evaluate the ability of a student . For example if a teacher keeps track of a students behavior then the teacher can tell exactly how well a student behaves during certain activities. As well as this each teacher could document a students work. If a teacher tracks a students work, then the teacher, student and the student’s family may be able to tell which topics the student is doing , both, well and poorly in. Performance assessments are a direct evaluation of effort on the students behalf. Recall learning task reports provide useful materials for teachers and the government information on how much funding to give to schools.

A schools major funding/educational decisions should not be made solely on an average test score. High stakes testing punishes not only students but the teachers also. Teachers are punished for things of which they cannot control. Tests such as these distort and weaken the curriculum as it houses forms of instruction which fail to engage the students in education. Tests which dictate the testing environment , also limit education improvement. Thus , high stakes (standardized) testing actively hurt s genuine education improvement.