Even though the temperature in the rink was freezing, cold droplets of sweat formed and clung to the back of her neck. She glanced across the massive sheet of ice, preparing her last run before competition. Her routine was concrete in all aspects. The ice skates glided across the ice in a perfect sense. She had memorized each movement, practicing for hours on end. The next day at the regional competitions, Elizabeth soared across the ice making no errors. She landed every jump and delicately mastered each turn. Her hard work was rewarded and she received the grand first place trophy. The next day at school, while sitting in her math class, she got an email notifying her that her ACT results were in. Elizabeth struggled in school, never having enough time to study because of her ice skating. She saw her scores, and gasped. Not only were her scores on the lower end, she was almost positive they wouldn’t get her into the college she had always hoped and dreamed for. Elizabeth was a tremendously talented ice skater, but the standardized test showed her that she wasn’t good at anything. It did not recognize the talents she did have, only the ones that she didn’t. Standardized tests do not measure up in today’s world because they are not accommodating for all learning styles, they lack validity, and the information being tested is not practical.
Standardized tests have been a part of the education system since the early 1800’s ("Standardized Tests," 2014, para 1). Before this though, the earliest record of standardized testing originated in China. Government job applicants took tests confirming their knowledge on Confucian philosophy and poetry. Looking into Europe’s history, essays were usually administered to replace tests. This idea stemmed from the ancient Greeks' attraction for the Socratic Method. As the industrial revolution approached, young farm kids were taken out of their farm life and were expected to shift into the role of classroom life. Standardized exams emerged as an easy way to test large numbers of students quickly (Fletcher, 2009, para 1).
Standardized Tests: Not Accommodating For All Learning Styles
With standardized testings’ rising popularity, conflicts have come into action. In 2001, the United States adopted the No Child Left Behind Act which supports standards-based education. By setting high standards and establishing measurable goals, it is believed that this can improve individual outcomes in education. Susan J Holbert, an elementary school teacher of eleven years, expressed her beliefs about this. She states, “The children I test are from a wide variety of abilities and backgrounds. Whether they have a cognitive disability, speak entry-level English, or have speech or language delays, everyone takes the same test and the results are posted. Special education students may have some...