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Standardized Tests Do Not Measure Student Achievement

1767 words - 7 pages


Standardized testing has been around since the mid 1800’s. Even though testing has been around for a long time it is still debated whether or not it should precisely “score” students. Students have been subjected to standardized tests frequently through their years in school due to laws which have been passed by Congress. Decisions about the evaluation of schools and students are recurrently made by government authority and are often not in the best interest of teachers, students, or their classroom environments.
What do students achieve from standardized testing? Achievement means something that somebody has succeeded in doing. “Achievement is more than just test scores but also includes class participation, students’ course-taking patterns, and teachers’ professional development patterns”(Harris, Harris, Smith). How can a test score show someone’s satisfaction or what they believe success is? The tests aren’t that advanced in today’s technology. The tests do prepare students for more important tests such as the ACT, SAT, ASVAB, ect…Testing patterns have also been disputed such as drawing a Christmas tree, or limit a letter choice to a certain number of blanks filled in. This does not help the students or the educators in this essence. It does not test the students’ full potential to what they have learned from their educator, it just simply tests the students’ ability to guess quickly under pressure (Walberg). These tests are usually briefly timed. Depending on how the student paces his or herself depends on how well he or she can take the test, because the student still needs to think logically. Under these circumstances students rush to finish the test forcing them to think illogically, resulting in a low score ultimately deciding the student’s overall grade (Popham).
Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800’s (“Standardized Tests”). Ever since then standardized testing has been a huge part of education. Teachers across the nation had to teach to the curriculum instead of what they thought the students needed to learn. Nowadays colleges strictly look at ACT and SAT scores rather than classroom grades, because they believe that some teachers grade on a curve and are not giving the students a fair chance. Standardized tests are an unreliable measure of student performance. A 2001 study published by the Brookings Institution found that 50-80% of year-over-year tests core improvements were temporary and “caused by fluctuations that had nothing to do with long-term changes in learning…”(“Standardized Tests”). Teachers are stressed over if they are teaching “correctly”. They went to a 4-year college, some even more, to get a degree in something that they wanted to do, either for themselves or for the children, and now they have to “teach to the test”. Tests can only measure a portion of the goals of education. A pschometrician, Daniel Koretz says, “standardized tests usually do not provide a direct...

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