High-Stakes Tests are Detrimental to the Future of Our Children

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High-Stakes Tests are Detrimental to the Future of Our Children

Almost every person who has graduated from high school has taken the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), which is generally used for college admissions. We all remember the stress of taking a test that could affect our future educational plans. Now due to the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001, this kind of test is now being administered to children from the 3rd to 8th grades as a way to determine if the school or teachers are educating them properly. High-stakes standardized tests of this nature should not be used to determine the educational abilities of either schools or the teachers.

Standardized tests have been around for quite a while now, and are used by a
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The baseline of this program is created using data from the 2001-2002 school year. If a school does not meet the AYP for two consecutive years, it is placed on a list of schools which need improvement, and receive assistance from the school district or the state. If the school continues to fail to meet AYP, then they may be subject to staff changes, longer school years, or even be closed and re-opened under new management.

This all seems like a great new program that will raise education levels and give aid to schools that lack funds, but it has some major problems. The first of these is what is called “teaching to the test.” This means that since the test is a “high-stakes test,” on which the future of the schools and the teachers depend on, the emphasis in the classroom will be on teaching children how to pass these kinds of tests. This can lead to teachers changing their teaching methods and class structure from learning how to find the answers to just knowing the answers.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act dramatically increases the use and importance of standardized tests. However, standardized tests are poor yardsticks to measure student achievement. In fact, an emphasis on testing encourages teaching to the test, skews school programs and priorities, and drives quality teachers out of the profession. In addition, since test scores can bounce up and down rapidly, they are virtually useless for comparing a school's

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