The Importance Of Standardized Testing In Schools

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According to the Huffington Post, the United States spends more money on student education each year than any other developed country (Klein). However, American students have routinely found themselves with test scores that lag behind those of our competitors (Klein). Alabama, one of the poorest states in the country, is not exempt from America 's education woes, and the state struggles to determine how to best educate its K-12 population. One of the clearest signs of this problem lies in the large number of Alabama 's poor rural and urban school districts that regularly fail standardized tests. While the Alabama government has made some attempt at combating such deplorable test scores, funding issues, interest groups, and the political…show more content…
Secondly, it is necessary to establish the usefulness of looking at a district or state by examining standardized test scores of an area 's students. While there is inevitably a population of students who simply do not do well under the stress and time constraints of standardized tests, this is not a valid objection to determining the condition of a school district by looking at these scores. Margaret Spellings, the US Secretary of Education in the Bush Administration from 2005-2009, describes standardized testing as "a valuable part of the educational process" and that it "lets teacher and parents know how kids are doing and lets students see the rewards of hard work" (Use of Standardized). Here, Spellings shows the necessity of testing in schools. In addition, a testing scholar and economist, Richard P. Phelps argued that while standardized tests do not create perfect results, they are used because they "provide information whose benefits outweigh any cost and imprecision" (Use of Standardized). This statement reveals that standardized testing is the only viable and realistic approach to acquiring data about student learning. This data can be easily and effectively compared against itself to determine an increase or decrease from prior years, or against other districts to determine the relative health of a school system. Without standardized testing, policy-makers would rely on teacher grading, of which Phelps claims is "more likely to be idiosyncratic and…show more content…
Consequently, the Alabama government has not been able to ignore the overwhelming number of its districts that find themselves failing standardized tests. As test scores are indicators of a student 's overall quality of education, the state of Alabama has addressed this problem by attempting to address what type of education students are receiving in the classroom. While some measures to combat these failing test scores have been implemented, change has proven to be an uphill battle, one with many players, attitudes, and

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