It is the one time of year when it seems all teachers, administrators, and even students are stressed. Parents are enforcing their kids to get to bed at a decent time, eat a healthy breakfast, and to not forget their number two pencils. It is TCAP testing time. Standardized testing has been a norm for over seventy-five years in almost every first- world country. From state regulated tests, to the “college-worthy” ACT and SAT, standardized tests have become a dreaded rite of passage for every student.
The earliest record of standardized testing originates from China. It was created to test knowledge of Confucian poetry and philosophy for men applying for government jobs. In 1905 a man by the name of Alfred Binet created his own, “standardized test of intelligence.” Binet’s standardized test was later used to develop the modern day I.Q. test. At the beginning of World War one is when standardized testing is first became a standard practice in the United States. The “Army Mental Test” was designed to use aptitude quizzes to assign United States servicemen jobs during the war. It consisted of an intelligence test as well as a personality test for soldiers to test where their abilities would be most beneficial. This form of standardized testing was created for the sole purpose to better serve our country. Depending upon the results, the test told you your strengths and weaknesses and placed you to a task accordingly.
Today, it is more widely accepted for standardized testing to be used as a form of measurement for educational purposes. When it was first used in schools it was supposed to serve as a tool to help establish student’s strength and weaknesses. Standardized testing was created as a public policy strategy to create stronger accountability measures for public education. It was supposed to help teachers and show what students struggle with and show what they should focus more or less on while in the classroom. The idea behind this policy originally was to improve schools, teaching practice, and educational methods through data collection. Now standardized testing is used to determine how moderate, advanced, or “below average” some students are in comparison to other students in the state or country. Teachers and administrators have yet to take the negative testing results and turn them into positive benefits for their schools.
Standardized testing is not made to test every student. These tests often ask one sided, bias questions. Claims have been brought against standardized tests in court due to bias. How are they supposed to measure the ability of every student when every student is different? Students learn differently and preform differently depending upon the type of test given. Some students are stronger with essay questions, some with matching, and some with true and false. Some students could not even know the material but get a multiple choice question right through process of elimination. How is this a fair way to measure knowledge?...