Standardized Testing Essay

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Student assessment has been a difficult and controversial discussion for years (Linn 29) Whether or not student success can be measured through a test or an applicable experiment, each side has proponents and detractors, with positives and negatives on both sides. Standardized testing is often seen as a push to mere memorization, but is also seen as a way of measuring and approaching the achievement gap (Wise and Usdan 4; Gandy). Testing has had its opponents for many years, and scholars such as Odell published his 1928 book entitled Traditional Examinations and New-Type Tests criticized it for promoting cheating and bad handwriting, injuring the health of the test-takers, and that the time spent for a test could be used in better ways (Linn …show more content…
Measuring student progress is a vital part of schooling, and although report cards and teacher feedback are often used to do this, they can only judge how well a child is doing in the opinion of the teacher, according to the teacher’s own ideals, assignments, and tests. But, when parents are have to decide what school to send their child to, how do they know which would give them the best education? How does one school’s test results compare to the school across town? How about to schools three states over? Or even to all schools across the country? Standardized testing give the public a template to compare to (Gandy; Linn 30). Teachers use standardized testing to identify points of success and points of failure, and to determine in what areas students can improve and what teachers themselves need to work on. Students can use them to set learning goals and for personal progress measurement. Identifying areas of struggle is important in setting the right track of achievement for both schools and students. A vital part of testing is understanding the results. Tests, with teachers intending to explain the student’s scores, with meaningful discussion as to how students may rank in local and national scales, and with the realization of any gaps in outcomes with the intent of approaching them, become a tool with which to improve student, teacher, and school

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