Should American Schools Remove Standarized Tests?

1455 words - 6 pages

Since the release of the annual report by Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in December of 2010, many in the government and community are searching for ways to reform the American education system to give American students a greater opportunity to succeed. According to the report, one cannot ignore the fact that American students are not testing as high academically as other nations in the world (Duncan, 2010). There are many contributing elements that have brought America to her knees in the education system, however, the obsession with standardized testing is found to be more of a stumbling block than a stepping stone in the education system. To understand how to rectify the problem, we must look at all the facts presented to us, compare that to how education has been taught, and decide for ourselves what will allow the American education system to move forward in comparison to education in high ranking countries and nations.
As each child is born into this world regardless of location, family dynamics, or the economic condition of a country, life lessons immediately begin and the child begins to gain an education. He/she will learn to crawl, walk, and talk by the example and encouragement of others. Although the method of learning will evolve over their lifetime, the core foundation of learning (using their senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch) will not change. Their knowledge and understanding will grow as they continue learning about life and their surroundings. As they further their education they will discover who they are and who they want to become in life. It may change from time to time as they build upon their strengths and face their weaknesses; however, education is the key to allow changes to be implemented and for children to grow and become part of society.
Throughout his political career, Thomas Jefferson advocated for a free basic education provided to the American people. He believed that an education would lead men and women to the ability to be self-governed and become positive contributors to society (Mondale & Patton, 2001). Today, we can see how true this is by the examples of others. Those who are given the opportunity to expand their education are more likely to find jobs and develop skills that not only improve a community, but influence the economic growth of their nation (Common Core, 2009, p. 13). On the other hand, if an education is not provided to individuals, they can become a hindrance to that nation’s growth.
With many in government and communities believing that education is the key to create a strong and independent country, public schools were formed in the early years of the United States to provide a basic education for citizens (Mondale & Patton, 2001). Over the years it has been reformed to fill the needs of a growing nation. However, we are now facing a need to not only satisfy the needs of a national economy, but a world economy. Unable to fill positions that demand...

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