The High Stakes Nature Of The Exam Essay

1844 Words Dec 19th, 2016 8 Pages
The high-stakes nature of the exam, combined with its inaccurately low evaluation of the performance of ELL students, unfairly punishes these students, who may be forced to repeat a grade or even barred from graduation. Many schools flunk students as a response to low standardized test scores (“Testing and Grade Retention”), and more than half of the states require high school students to pass an exit exam in order to graduate (“High school exit exams”). Obviously, few students, regardless of their linguistic status, wish to face the ignominy of repeating a grade or not walking on graduation day; thus, these high-stakes tests put tremendous negative pressure on the students. The body of criticism against the high-stakes nature of such exams is enormous, even in the context of non-ELL students. Thomas Dee and Brian Jacob, two researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), found a correlation between the implementation of graduation exams and an increase in dropout rates, especially among minorities (Dee & Jacob), a group that many ELL students belong to. The high stakes attached to exams already pose significant problems for native English speakers, who are spared from navigating the maze of linguistic difficulty that English language learners must traverse through. Unsurprisingly, high school graduation exams are taking their toll on ELLs. Even though the length of high school in the United States is usually four years, for ELLs, spending five or longer…

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