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High Stakes Testing In Schools Essay

633 words - 3 pages

High-stakes testing is a very complicated issue. The watered down explanation given to the members of the public is that of holding teachers accountable for the achievement of their students. However, this is not the only use of HST. HST can also be utilized in determining grade level promotion, assigning a performance rating to an entire school, and determining students’ ability to graduate from high school (Kubiszyn & Borich, 2013).
One of the major complaints of HST is when districts attempt to teach to the test. This author has even seen entire educational departments analyze a previous years HST in an attempt to determine the percent that each skill from the academic standard was represented in the assessment. The thought behind this was to spend the most time on the standards that were represented the most. While this happens, there is no guarantee the standards will be represented at the same frequency on the next version of the test. The real benefit of this strategy is making sure the students are well practiced and comfortable when participating in the assessment process through the use of benchmark assessments. If teachers are not teaching all of the standards, then there is a problem. The fault of this way of thinking is forgetting that the HST is supposed to measure the standards. Teachers need to be allowed, even encouraged, to teach the standards in a way that engages their students and makes school as fun as possible. Couple this with increasing the comfort level of students with the format of the HST and some test taking strategies and test scores will increase.
High-stakes testing does have some drawbacks. One of the major requirements of a successful school is community support. If a school routinely fails to perform as expected on the assessments parents can then move their children to other schools. When community support of the school is reduced the school can have a...

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