High Stakes Testing In Schools Essay

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Education has had some form of high stakes testing for many years, the SAT, ACT, AP, and so on. Testing in this form was used to measure how much a student had learned and retained over the course of a student’s education. However, over time the testing focus changed. High stakes testing morphed from a useful tool that gauges achievement to becoming the primary focus in education. The focus is no longer about what the child has achieved, instead the emphasis is on achieving top scores. High stakes testing effects education by impacting the curriculum (made by states and districts), classroom procedures, and negatively impacting a student’s right to receive a fair and equal education. An extreme narrowing of the curriculum has damaged American …show more content…

Several studies have found that teachers will often place their focus on teaching to those kids who are most likely to pass the tests disadvantaging those students who need it just as much, if not more than the other students. Children who are the primary focus are called “’bubble kids’ because they are on the bubble of passing the test or moving up to the next performance level” (Madaux, Russel 27). One teacher in Texas explains her bubble kids as, “The ones who miss by one or two points-they just need a little extra help to pass so we concentrate our attention on that group. The bubbles are the ones who can make it” (Madaus, Russel 27). This demonstrates teachers have given up on underperforming kids which was definitely not the point of No Child Left Behind. Jennifer Booher-Jennings studied the treatment of “bubble kids” in Texas. She found that these kids received more teacher attention, extra help and class time to prepare for the test, small group or individual instruction, and after school or Saturday tutoring. She also found that schools could improve their accountability rating by exempting them from the requirements by referring kids to special education (Madaus, Russel 27). High stakes testing makes education unequal- underperforming kids are left behind while the others are pushed

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