Standardized Tests Essay

1020 words - 4 pages

Do standardized tests destroy schools and fail prepare students for the real world? Our teacher’s spend time on memorization of specific words that will be on the state test, not vocabulary building exercises. They have pep rallies and time spent away from lesson plans to learning cheers on how the students are going to do well on the test. Excess teacher and administration time is spent figuring out game plans, not for teaching students, but for figuring out how to increase test scores. Meanwhile, when a student is truly excited about exploring a topic in depth, they are shut down because there is no time to learn, only time to work on memorizing items that might be on these test. Standardized tests waste classroom time and do not accurately measure student achievement, they inaccurately measure academic success and are a poor predictor of future success and do nothing except hinder the learning process of students.

Standardized test are used to measure academic success, but they are not a fair and accurate measurement tool. If a student is achieving good grades, but fails to pass a state test, there is obviously a flaw in the system. Many of today's standardized tests are written so that only middle-class, English-speaking students can succeed. Standardized tests are often multiple-choice and rely on mental tasks rather than spatial or visual abilities. As a result, these tests often reflect a student's disabilities. For example, standardized tests assume that each student will read each question it in the same manner. However, research proves that each student process words differently (Kohn, 2000). The case against standardized tests is not new Banesh Hoffman, professor of mathematics, stated. "Multiple choice tests penalize the deep student, dampen creativity, foster intellectual dishonesty, and undermine the very foundations of education" (Hoffman, 1962). Many high school students don't take these tests seriously, because many of them are at the same level of thinking as adults, and realize the tests are flawed. Still they might not consider that these tests being flawed might lessen their chance of getting into college. Certainly one could envision a system of standardized tests in which learning was at the center.

Standardized tests fail to predict the future success of students whether in the employment pool or continuing their education. When the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act was adopted in 2001 the consciences was it would increase student achievements level and the graduation rate of the United States. The law allows for individual states to administer a standardized test to the students which would show the States improvement over the previous year. In 2001 the national graduation rate was 72 %, six years later the graduation rate increased to 75% and while this shows a small increase it falls short of the 78% in 1970 and comes far short of the 90% projected in the NCLB (Anderson, 2010). In...

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