High Stakes Testing Essay

1250 words - 5 pages

In the United States our schools are one of the more important issues that can determine such positions as a mayor, a senator and even the President of the United States. The education of our children and the futures of tomorrow depend on schools and the level of education within their walls. Part of almost every major newspaper in the country has a specialized section for educational news. Congress has specialized groups to handle education and educational policies. But, even though education is such an important issue government allows high-stakes testing to crush the education of our nations students. A high-stakes test is one that holds consequences for failure. School districts, teachers and students become victims of high-stakes testing consequences. A school district may loose funding or be investigated causing financial ramifications. A teacher may loose their job because their students do not meet the par on one specialized exam. A student, whose future is totally in front of them, may not graduate high school or may be refused admittance to a university or college all on the basis of a high-stakes test. The people who would support these high-stake test, claim that test such as these allow the educational ability of schools and teachers to be evaluated, with intentions of improving education. However they fail to see that high stakes testing carries many casualties with it. High stakes testing effects minorities, teachers, disabled students, teaching structure, and students lives. High-stakes testing does not evaluate teachers or students knowledge, it test the memorization skills of students and the brainwashing abilities of our teachers. High Stakes testing should be removed from secondary education in order to properly educate the nations number one resource, our children. High stakes tests do not allow teachers to educate productively. Teachers in areas subject to the high-stakes test must concentrate their time to the upcoming test. Teachers often just drill students on how to pass a particular test (Neill). Teachers know the importance of the test not only for the students and teachers but also for the school. These tests can be used to influence teachers' salaries, or rate a school district in comparison to others. Months before the test is actually taken teachers wave off their regular lesson plans and begin the repetitive and unfruitful job of test teaching. Teachers receive sample questions of what material the test might cover, and begin to educate only for that test. As for what the teacher and administrators thought was important before the test, really doesn't matter because the test could hold a student back or cause a reprimand for the district. With classes focused solely on the contents of the high-stakes test the learning function of the students is thrown off. The students go from being taught from a book in a learning order to being taught from handouts and areas they haven't covered yet, or are unrelated to...

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