Standardized Testing Unfair

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With so much focus and emphasis on standardized testing, education- the main purpose of school- is pushed aside and becomes the side act to the show of what is standardized testing. To begin, the resources used for educational programs are now allocated towards standardized testing. According to a report published by Education Policy at Brookings Institution (2012), “States spend a combined $1.7 billion annually on standardized testing.” Although this only accounts for about 1% of the annual K-12 education spending, this money could be put towards increasing teachers’ salaries, sponsoring programs for the arts, or supplying schools with more technology and resources. Money is not the only resource that is being relinquished to standardized…show more content…
The fact of the matter is that standardized testing does not infer much about the intelligence or progress of a student. First, “For decades, critics have complained that many standardized tests are unfair because the questions require a set of knowledge and skills more likely to be possessed by children from a privileged background” (John 2000). In other words, privileged students have more available resources to achieve higher scores on these tests. This is especially true for high stakes exams in which well-off students have access to tutors and the latest study guides and textbooks to help them prepare for the tests. Furthermore, social-economic status in general has a great effect on the test scores as “Research has repeatedly found that the amount of poverty in the communities where schools are located, along with other variables having nothing to do with what happens in classrooms, accounts for the great majority of the difference in test scores from one area to the next” (Kohn 2000). To explain, these test do a better job at measuring the factors that affect students outside of school than analyzing their educational abilities. This is summed up perfectly in the book entitled The Myths of Standardized Testing, when it is stated, “Instructionally insensitive accountability tests tend to measure what students bring to school, rather than what they are taught” (Harries and Smith 2011). Also, these tests have a very limited scope of what they can evaluate. Clearly, intelligence cannot be inferred from a simple pencil and paper test alone. These tests cannot measure skills such as creativity, thought-analysis, willingness to learn or even character traits such as leadership and integrity. Standardized test can only measure isolated skills and cannot begin to assess “the large domain of knowledge and skill that students possess” (Harries and Smith 2011). The test

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