High Stakes Testing Effects

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Testing and schools go hand in hand, and they generally have a positive impact. High stakes testing has become vital for public schools; consequently, high-stakes testing has risen and spread like a bad case of the flu.[PP3] High stakes testing is detrimental to American education due to the accountability, course favoritism, and negative attitude it brings to school systems. A major creditor to the evolution of high stakes testing is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was enacted in 1965 to help fund school districts and assist minority groups in achieving a proper education. The ESEA was revamped into the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in 2002. The NCLB Act increased federal involvement by doubling the accountability…show more content…
There are so many results for a single test that does not even evaluate a student’s knowledge accurately. A single bad day could be disastrous to a student’s career, and a day of lucky guessing can float them by another year. Teachers are “graded” on their class’s results, so if a teacher’s class does poorly, that teacher may have an intervention coming.[PP1] Some people have even advocated for teachers’ pay and job security to be based upon the results of testing(“High-Stakes Test Definition”). Schools are given “grades” as well, and funding is based on them. Colleges and jobs review past testing scores to determine whether a student is worthy of their time. A student’s testing history will follow them throughout his or her life, making the tests truly “high…show more content…
The strict and narrow subject focus leads to numb disinterest as whatever a student may be interested in is suddenly discouraged in the face of passing tests. Schools, academically, have been reduced to just learning to take high stakes tests, generally in a standardized form. The majority of standardized tests are multiple choice questions, which can be taken without a single thought. There is essentially no effort required for the tests, compared to projects or essays. On the flip side, simple mistakes or a bad day can lead to bad results. A student may deem the entire year a failure if he or she failed that one test. Continue that trend for a few years, and school itself seems useless. If school is useless, why waste time there? According to the results Audrey Amrein and David Berliner recorded, “sixty-three percent of the states with high school graduation tests posted decreases in the average age of students who took the GED exam after the high-stakes tests were implemented” (“The Effects on High-Stakes Testing…”). With the amount of accountability and strict course direction, the decreasing age at which drop outs are happening is not surprising. When low scoring students drop out, the over all average of scores goes up, leading to a seemingly better school, when in fact its students are just giving up; most of the students dropping out are the ones falling under the
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