Standardized Testing: Helpful Or Ineffective?

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that any good American wanting to have a civil conversation with another must avoid the topics of religion, politics, money…and education. Indeed, education, particularly in this day and age, is a large source of contention amongst educators, parents, and experts alike for a myriad of reasons, one being standardized testing. While a majority of educated individuals believe in the importance of standardized testing, others claim that these assessments fail to prepare or benefit students for future jobs. Mandatory standardized testing and its ability to effectively measure critical thinking stands as one specific facet that readily fuels this controversy. To effectively investigate the correlation between…show more content…
Kathleen A. Krentler, David R. Hampton, and Aleza B, Martin, professors at San Diego University, state that ideally “…the process of examination can give a student practice at critical thinking, hence building such skills,” adding that “…given that the development of critical thinking skills is an objective for an instructor, testing can help to assess whether he or she has been successful.” There are some, though, like Solley, who do not believe that the tests are fulfilling the aforementioned goals, as he claims…show more content…
On one hand, it is easy to see the potential ineffectiveness of the tests: some students may not take the assessments seriously, the curriculum taught by the educator can affect the level of preparedness, etc., and therefore the argument can be made that even if critical thinking skills are measured, the data gathered from the tests may not be accurate. However, the establishment of standards and a universal approach for educating allows for a tentative guideline by which one can measure the progress of the nation’s students from year to year and find common trends. Both Advanced Placement tests and the Keystone assessments, though drastically different in format, allowed me to test my knowledge in several subjects and learn where I ranked among my peers. Whether fill-in-the-bubble or multiple choice questions commonly found on standardized tests cause students to “analyze, evaluate, interpret, or synthesize information and apply creative thought to form an argument, solve a problem, or reach a conclusion,” is ultimately debatable. Nonetheless, alternate styles of questions such as open-ended responses and short essays are seemingly favorable substitutes for those who disagree with the current format of test
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