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Are Standardized Tests Harming Our Educational System? An Indepth Look At The Effects Of Standardized Tests.

4759 words - 19 pages

You have just entered the classroom and the teacher tells you to put everything away and take out a number two pencil. First you receive a sheet of paper full of bubbles. Your teacher reads to you five minutes worth of scripted instructions so you know exactly how to fill out each bubble and what to do if you aren't sure of an answer. For the next two to four hours you will sit in the test room reading over questions that you hopefully know the answers to. Most of them you recognize because your teacher has already gone over the exact same curriculum. She spent three weeks teaching this to you because like she said, "This will be on your upcoming test." Hours later you hear your teacher say, "Pencils down." You then turn in the test.Weeks later you receive the final results of the test. It tells you which answers you got right and which ones were incorrect. It shows you the points you received for leaving many blank. It tells you exactly how many kids nationwide that you were able to score better than. It tells you how intelligent you are after just two to four hours of sitting in a room answering multiple choice questions.It is something we all have experienced in life. Sometimes it is to pass a class, or to get into a specific college, such as the ACT or SAT. Most frequently, it is just to judge intelligence on a national level, like the criterion reference tests states use to report to the government. For whatever reason we have all taken standardized tests.Being a High School student I have come into contact with many of these tests and I have learned a few things about them. Standardized tests are the device our government uses to assess each child nationwide on their education. They are the only way to know exactly who is being taught what needs to be taught and who isn't. These tests let the government know who is lacking in which areas and allows them to make those adjustments that are necessary so that each and every child is reaching the standard that is desired when it comes to education. It also allows colleges or other institutions to gather information on students. Through tests like the SAT and ACT colleges can test every student's intelligence and then base their acceptance on who receives the best scores. These institutions want the brightest students and the only way to find the brightest students in the nation is to test them all with the same standards to make sure it is fair. Each student answering the same questions under the same conditions is the only way to compare each student in the country.The negative effect of this, though, is that teachers have realized that their credibility as teachers and their students futures sometimes hinge on these standardized tests. Knowing this, teachers have started to "teach for the test." I've seen it happen, I've had a teacher purposefully skip important information in class because it wasn't going to be tested. And why not, any teacher that has all of their students score extremely...

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