The Monster: School Testing Essay

1412 words - 6 pages

The Monster: School Testing
Everyone has their fears, some don’t like heights, the dark, and some just being in a crowd or making a speech. One thing, however, many students dread is testing. Testing after every chapter is normal and many students can get through that if they understand the subject and it is taught well. There is one test, however, that to many, especially the younger children, see as a monster. This monster is standardized testing, a monster which needs to be put down. Anyone who has taken standardized tests notices a pattern. There are questions, on the standardized tests, that are straightforward for the grade level of test that everyone would know, there are questions ...view middle of the document...

This is in essence how standardized testing works but on a much larger scale and only looks into how well students understand.
George W. Bush in 2001 wrote an education-reform bill known as the “No Child Left Behind Act”. This education-reform bill was signed into law on January 8th in 2002. This law ideally was beneficial in some aspects for the United States as a whole. The purpose of this law was to dramatically increase the role of the federal government to guarantee quality public education for every student in the United States. The most beneficial aspects of this law were that it would increase funding for poor school districts as well as give higher achievements for poor and minority students. However, this law also made schools much more accountable for student progress and expanded standardized testing in the American Educational system to include grades 3 through 8 in testing in reading and math.
Now when you think of cheating you think of texting on phones, looking over shoulders, notes on arms or hidden papers on sleeves. But due to the No Child Left Behind Act, schools are held much more accountable for the students’ results on the tests. In the end the principal’s job is dependent on how well the teachers teach their students and prepares them for the standardized tests. And in turn, the teacher’s job is entirely dependent on how well the student does. In some cases this pressure causes teachers to cheat, not through texting or passing notes, but in giving students the answers to the standardized tests. “Using test scores to reward and punish teachers and schools encourages them to cheat the system for their own gain...A 2011 USA Today investigation of six states and Washington DC found 1,610 suspicious anomalies in year-over-year test score gains” (Toppo). The problem with standardized tests today is, while it should be aiding in a child’s education, if the tests are on something they have not learned or understand it reflects badly. In this day and age where cheating has become much more sophisticated due to electronics, there are many problems. Students are rationalizing cheating giving the appearance that it is “not a big deal” seeing it as a “victim-less crime” or stating that is makes up for “unfair tests or lack of opportunity”. Remember this, standardized tests while they affect the job of the teacher and principal as well as the school’s standing, it does not affect the student’s grades in their class(s). How often do you see kids who can properly make change, do basic arithmetic in their head or even know certain creative skills? Think of this, in a lot of public schools they lose funding if their standardized test ratings drop, if they drop classes or teachers are without a job. How can a teacher properly teach a class and ensure the student’s education if class sizes are growing due to loss in funding or loss of teachers.
The problem with the amount of testing being done is that it is reducing the time the children...

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