A standardized test refers simply to any test that is being given in the same manner to all test takers. This same manner implies same questions, same timing, and same conditions of testing. The history of standardized testing dates for more than 14 centuries now. First standardized tests are claimed to be used for imperial examinations in China around the 7th century. However, It’s not until the 19th century that this testing methodology was first introduced to Europe and then to the rest of the world. In fact, even in the United States of America standardized tests were not included in the core of the educational system until the end of the First World War. Since then, a rising criticism and call against standardized testing has being rising and had its peak with the President Bush’s signature of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.The standardized testing debate has rapidly spread from the US to the rest of the world, turning it from an old Chinese military testing system to one of the most important controversial topics in the world of education.
In fact, Morocco is no special case while discussing standardized testing. Our educational system does not reject nor apply the standardized testing. While the high school exit test is more or less a standardized test, others are not. Students are still given different tests according to their geographical position. Thus, the accuracy of those examinations have since then been questioned and the international debate of the standardized testing was brought several times in Moroccan grounds while drafting the new educational programs and even in the parliament.
However, giving the educational change our country is living, it may be the perfect timing for us -as a nation- to choose a side. Do we have to abolish standardized testing completely like the Finnish example, or should we hold tight to it like what China did? As far as I am concerned, I do believe that standardized testing should be a key component of the educational system as it holds schools and teachers accountable, are a fair and accurate measure of the level of students and they have a positive impact on their achievement.
Accountability of schools and teachers:
As Moroccan students, we all had or at least heard especially in Moroccan public schools about professors lazy enough not to show at class, or others who don’t have the adequate level of teaching methodology, or even teachers who prefer spending class time chopping and pealing vegetables in class rather than doing their duty. Facing one of these situations, one shall ask: where is the ministry in all that? How does it allow this to happen? Well, the easy but not so satisfactory answer is the ministry doesn’t know about that –at least if you haven’t protested against it-. Indeed, one of the biggest problems our Moroccan educational system is facing today is accountability. We do not have a clear and scientifically accurate measure the achievement of a given...