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The Shortcomings Of Standardized Testing Essay

1916 words - 8 pages

Since the U.S. Congress passed the No Child Left Behind program, standardized testing has become the norm for American schools. Under this system, each child attending a school is required to take a standardized test at specific grade points to assess their level of comprehension. Parents, scholars and all stakeholders involved take part in constant discussions over its effectiveness in evaluating students’ comprehension, teachers’ competency and the effects of the test on the education system. Though these tests were put in place to create equality, experts note that they have created more inequality in the classroom. In efforts to explore this issue further, this essay reviews two articles on standardized testing. This essay reviews the sentiments of the authors and their insight into standardized examination. The articles provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that standardized tests are not effective at measuring a teacher’s competency because they do not take into account the school environment and its effect on the students.
In “Standardized testing undermines teaching,” the author, Diane Ravitch, reviewed a book she authored, The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education. This review highlights various cons of Standardized testing on the students and educators. She states that standardized testing and the use of incentives to motivate students and educators have failed to meet the set goals. Although the author was at the forefront of advocating for this system, she is now opposed to it and sceptical of the use of incentives to motivate teachers. She also reviews the role of charter schools in perpetuating classism. She states that standard tests and the use of a pay merit system to incentivize teachers have not helped improve the education system in America. She explores past trends and theories put across to improve America’s education system and states that they distract policy makers from the real issues plaguing American schools. Lastly, she faults the charter schools system and notes that it creates classism and short-lived solutions. She described her experience as a former secretary in the education sector to provide evidence that supports her argument.
The article written by W. James Popham, “Why Standardized Tests Don’t Measure Education Quality,” in the Educational Leadership journal, reviews the reasons he believes that although standardized tests are effective at showing students’ point of weakness; they fail as tools to measure the teachers’ teaching competency. Popham provides evidence and examples to show that the results of standardized tests are based on more than the instructors’ teaching methods. He states that standardized tests put intense pressure on educators to show how effectively they have taught their students because their ability to teach is measured by the outcomes of their performance on the examinations. When a school scores overall high on...

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