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The Standardized Testing Debate Essay

1703 words - 7 pages

Standardized testing is one of the most hotly debated topics in education. Experts in education have different views on the topic. Standardized testing refers to a testing method whereby students are subjected to the same assessment procedures set by examiners that intend to examine and score them as part of a wider student’s body. Standardized tests are of two kinds, the aptitude tests and the achievement tests. The aptitude test examines the students’ advanced skills or competency. Achievement tests evaluate students’ understanding in a formal educational institution and reviews their performance and understanding of key concepts. While evaluating the pros and cons of standard testing, it is evident that researchers and educators question whether it measures how effective the school taught the concepts to the student or whether it asses the students’ comprehension of the basic concepts taught. The articles under review define and explain the pros and cons but fail to offer an alternative method of assessing students.

Standardized testing brings a sense of accountability to both the teachers and the students. According to Derrick Meador, an industry expert, teachers have to deliver effectively in preparing students for the standardized testing. He also states that there is also the advantage of the results of the students going public. This puts pressure on the school as a whole because the results will be a reflection of how much effort they put in their schoolwork. This publicity also ensures that a teachers performance is evaluated and poses the risk of a teacher losing their job or the school being closed and given to the state (Meador, n.d.).

Standardized testing makes it possible to create a clear qualitative comparison of how students in different schools, districts and states perform. This enhances a healthy competitive spirit for the students. The comparison is significant as it can also provide a benchmarking platform, where different schools in different districts or states can consult for their academic progress. Standardized testing gives an accurate comparison between performances of schools in different states, as opposed to what a non-standardized test would give.

Standardized testing also provides a set of well thought of structures that act as a guideline for what teachers should teach at a particular time to students of a particular level. Not only does this avoid repetition of content but it also ensures that in the event a student transfers to another school they will be at par with their peers of the same level. These structures ensure the students are only given what they can handle at any particular time in line with their ability. The structures also provide a sense of continuity and organization process in the learning process. Standardized testing gives students an easy time in following up their schoolwork.

The data that comes from standardized tests also makes it easy to compare data from different...

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