Standardized Testing In America

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The education system in the United States of America is frequently questioned, as well as the systems that have been put in place to try and repair it. The schools in the U.S. have learned to depend on standardized testing too much to the point that it is harmful to the students. Today teachers encourage students to be themselves and become their best self and make them conform to national standards all in one breath. Some of the main problems with standardized testing are: the reforms don’t work for the people that need it most, and the nation relies too much on test scores. The areas that need the most reform are the areas that are flooded with poverty; however, the attempted reforms for these areas have repeatedly failed. An example of this…show more content…
Diane Ravitch describes this flaw by pointing that once scores are in control of staff and schools overall, “the measures become the goal of education, rather than an indicator” (para. 7). As she says this, she is evaluating what the true goal of education is versus what it becomes because of misuse of standardized testing. An example of this in real life is described by teachers being forced to pass students to retain their job even if the students are not prepared to continue on (Jesness 42). All throughout the article Jesness describes her personal experience of refusing this “floating standard” then going along with it. The author of “A Test Worth Teaching To” gives an example where a teacher rearranged teaching style and the classroom to solely focus on the students who were closest to being “proficient” (Headden A12). While this may impact those kids that are focused on, the other kids are pushed aside on the back burner. The main reason behind this is that teachers are forced to have their students reach a certain level of success by standards set by the nation and their bosses. The number of tests that students have to take removes their ability to be creative and have an opinion. Bronwyn Williams expresses this when she says, “Standardized testing, to be standardized, must create questions that leave no room for interpretation…allow for no independent meaning making from students.” (154). I personally have experienced “teaching to the test” with taking Advanced Placement tests where teachers teach the test and not the information. Headden shows her despite of teaching to the test with her description of what is lost when teachers solely focus on the test and its results (A12). Her list includes: “vocabulary” “character”, and “high-order thinking” (Headden A12). I personally have experienced this with taking Advanced Placement tests where
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