One of the biggest topics in the educational world is standardized tests. All fifty states have their own standards following the common core curriculum. There are many positives and negatives that go with the standardized tests. A standardized test is any type of “examination that's administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner” (Popham, 1999). These standardized tests are either aptitude tests or achievement tests. Schools use achievement tests to compare students.
There are pros to standardized examinations as tools for gaining information about student’s literacy strengths and weaknesses that can influence instruction. A pro to standardized examinations is that every student in the same state will take the same tests. This allows a precise comparison between schools. There are negatives to this comparing schools in this manner. These are that some schools or specific educators are obligated to teach to the test. Educators are suffering from an extreme amount of pressure to prove they are effective educators. Regrettably, the primary statistic judged is the success of their student’s performance on these standardized examinations. Some school reprimand there educator if too many students fail thus, scaring educators to teach to the test.
There is added pressure to schools to get better scores which adds pressure to the educators and the students. The added pressure can cause health problems with the students or the educators. If health problem come from the stress of the tests it could negatively affect the student’s ability to learn (Pros and Cons, 2013). The test itself is a problem as well. The test is supposed to be unbiased based on the grade level but in most cases the test is not. As much as they try the people that produce the test may never be able to get rid of all the bias within the examination. Another problem is that the test is a one day evaluation and does not take into account the growth of the student though out the year. The primary focus of the student is just the one day and that test which is not fair to judge a student knowledge on that test alone.
Another pro to standardized tests are that they are reliable and objectively measures student’s academic achievement in a specific subject. These exams are graded by a computer and has no bias to the student who took the test. Some educators see these tests as unreliable measures of the student’s performance. There have been many studies published proving that students improvement is not permanent. There is a high percentage of schools improvement that shows the “average test scores from one year to the next was temporary and was caused by fluctuations that had nothing to do with long-term changes in learning or productivity” (Olson, 2001). This shows that the tests are not a reliable source to judge students’ academic achievements.
Another tool to incorporate into a student's daily learning are portfolios. A portfolio is a collection of each...