Testing Measured Achievement And Provided Equal Opportunities For All Children

1782 Words Dec 1st, 2016 8 Pages
Tracing the origin of standardized testing led to the discovery that educational pioneer Horace Mann had the idea of implementing a system of testing measured achievement and provided equal opportunities for all children. Previously an assessment of accomplishment, these tests morphed into a standard of ability. Intelligence tests grew in popularity in the twentieth century. The Army Alpha and Beta Tests identified and separated the slower learners from the highest achievers. The Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, began in the 1920’s and is still prominent today. These high-stake tests hold a heavy weight of importance and can be the determining factor for many students in their educational advancement throughout their entire life. What was once an equalizer of opportunity has become an inaccurate measuring stick for judging the success of students, teachers, parents, and school districts. “Meritocracy’s gatekeepers brand those who score poorly on standardized tests as somehow deficient and incapable,” (Sacks 1). High-stakes tests are an inaccurate representation of a student’s intelligence and have ill effects on everyone involved.
There is little denial behind the prevalence of standardized testing. Test results are being used nationwide to “determine student promotion and placement, teacher salary, school accreditation, district funding, and graduation opportunity,” (Smyth 133). A majority of the debate that surrounds the topic of standardized testing focuses on the side…

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