Standardized Testing Pros

1130 Words5 Pages
Even though many students absolutely hate them, state assessments are a big part of the American education system. Everyone has taken a standardized test at some point in their life, and almost everyone has done poorly on one. They are primarily used as a measurement of how well students learn, but are they truly accurate? There are strong arguments on both sides, which has started a heated conflict about the productiveness of these tests. Standardized testing has been around for many years, starting in Imperial China where it was intended to determine a person’s aptitude for a government position (“Do Standardized Tests Show an Accurate View of Students’ Abilities?”). In some states, these tests are even used to decide whether or not a student…show more content…
The No Child Left Behind law was supposed to increase students’ motivation by creating high-stakes tests. This, however, is not the case. The law actually had the opposite effect on motivation; some students are so negatively affected that they are unable to finish the requirements to get their high school diploma (2). A poor test history leads to a poor mindset, in which students are “less motivated to learn and less likely to engage in critical thinking,” in the words of Audrey Amrein and David Berliner (Fulton 3). Instead of helping these students and motivating them, some of their teachers are so focused on getting them the information that they try to give them a lot of information in a short time, thus not giving the students a chance to properly learn. Lack of preparation can leave the students feeling anxious. Approximately 10 million students in the mid-1980s had experienced test anxiety. This included average students, students with learning disabilities, and even gifted students (Fulton…show more content…
In a study done at Michigan State University in 1983, Donald Freeman and his associates selected five standardized tests that were given nationwide, as well as four textbooks that were widely used to see if the material on the tests is covered in the textbooks. They found that 50 to 80 percent of the questions on the test were not adequately covered in the textbooks. Michigan researchers said, “The proportion of topics presented on a standardized test that received more than a cursory treatment in each textbook was never higher than 50 percent” (Popham). This proves that some teachers, while it is not their fault, do not appropriately prepare their students for these tests, because the material is barely discussed in the textbook. Those teachers who are unfamiliar with the type of questions that are on the state assessments are going to assume that if it is truly meant to test how well students learn, then it will assess them based on how the subject in question is taught locally. This is typically not the case, and many students, regardless of their aptitude to learn, suffer because of it. There is a substantial difference in most schools between what is being taught and what is being
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