Standardized Student Assessment

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Standardized Student Assessments

The use of standardized tests has increased more in the past thirteen years than

since their initiation into the schooling system in the mid-1800s (Concordia University,

n.d.). This examination system has been causing an increasing amount of problems

ever since. Standardized tests come in the way of natural learning; through over-testing

students, there is the risk of “teaching to the test” (About.com, n.d.), and many hours of

classroom time are wasted to allow for the numerous tests to take place. The stress

caused by these tests should be dealt with.

Standardized tests are not very accurate. These tests are given at a specific

time and without room for variation in any way. Psychological
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The educator may not be ensuring that the students experience the

learning in a practical way. A teacher facing many assessments may avoid spending

time on developing his or her students’ thinking abilities, since these are most likely not

to be detected in standard assessments. These abilities are critical to practical life, and

are an extremely important part of the educational experience. (Anthony, n.d.)

The cons of “teaching to the test” far outweigh its pros. Life skills and a well-

rounded education are far more important than simply knowing a bit of information well.

The positive side is also rarely seen in the classroom. Most teachers will change their

original curriculum in order to cover what the tests require. Students will generally walk

out of a course with a fading recollection of the exact information they have memorized

for the tests and nothing more.

This table represents an estimate of hours spent by students in (the eastern school district of)

Attribution: American Federation of Teachers

the US on test preparation every year.

Another problem with frequent assessment is the amount of time it takes
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This is because of the incredible amount of pressure placed on

teachers to ensure that their students achieve high results on the standardized tests.

Many of those in favor of standardized testing say that there is no better option.

No idea has proven as effective as these exams. They are also a great idea as they

force both student and teacher to work and then measure how well the work has been

done (Mattimore, 2011). The students must work in order to pass and the teachers

have to work hard in order to have students who pass and to keep their teaching

position. Education would not be taken seriously if these tests were to be removed or

replaced by an incompetent system.

A more appropriate form of assessment-based evidence can and should be

arranged. Teachers should attempt to assess students’ mastery of important skills, such

as their ability to write effective compositions, and to use lessons from history (Popham,

1999). Instead of rewarding the short-term memorization required to take exams, the

education system should emphasize the importance of retaining knowledge (Hartmann,

Studies have shown that students learn and understand best when they teach

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