Problems With Standardized Testing

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The test themselves are also poor determinants of achievement because they only cover a small range of subjects, and even those topics cannot be fully examined through a multiple choice quiz. Some of the issues that arise are difficult to avoid. Daniel Koretz, an expert in educational testing, writes: “some goals, such as the motivation to learn, the inclination to apply school learning to real situations, the ability to work in groups, and some kinds of complex problem solving, are not very amenable to large scale standardized testing” (qtd. in Kamenetz 14). Even the goals of education that can be tested must be measured using a very small sample of questions to represent all of the behaviors that are in each goal. It is nearly impossible …show more content…
Instead of expecting teachers to teach children to love what they are learning and encouraging them to apply what they know to their lives, teachers are expected to teach students how to take specific exams in order to show the superiority of their school and their district. By removing the focus from student success to school ranking, the level of education can only go down. It’s a fantastic idea to ensure that students are gathering knowledge in the classroom and keeping schools and teachers accountable, but the increasing the emphasis on testing is undermining the very goals of education. National Education Association spokesman Alain Jehlen pointed out that high scores on standardized tests resulted from preparation for each specific test, with focus on wording patterns and content. He also stated the alarming fact that “The improvement did not carry over into better performance on the other tests of the same general content - they did not reflect real gains in learning” (qtd. in “Introduction to Education”). Students cannot be expected to be prepared for life if the only things they learn in the classroom in how to take tests. The the most important type of education, “preparing young people with ‘higher order thinking skills; to compete in a global economy,” has become neglected because of standardized tests (Bhattacharyya et al. 633). Young people are going to become …show more content…
Solley’s take on standardized testing is that “Schools no longer strive to create informed citizens; instead they focus only on teaching children what is essential for them to know to pass the government-mandated standardized tests. As a result, children’s motivation and learning as well as classroom curriculum suffer” (Solley). This truly reflects the negative impact that standardized testing has on education. The way America views education has become warped. Schools are expected to teach students how to succeed in life and to produce results on standardized tests. These two goals cannot be met at the same time because life skills cannot be measured quickly via a test. Parents and the government have an increasing desire to know how well students and educators are performing, which leads to more and more pressure being placed on standardized tests, forcing educators to remove emphasis on life skills and instead focus on test taking skills. Only to add to the problem, the test that educators are focusing on has issues of its own, including that only 26 percent of teachers think that standardized assessments give an accurate picture of student knowledge (Rebora). The test format may be difficult for students, the questions are not objective and can discriminate against students from different demographics, and the test rewards students for superficial thinking. By preaching to

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