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Mandatory Standardized Testing Essay

“On your desk you should only have your chromebook, a piece of scrap paper and a pencil. You will have 90 minutes to complete this test. You may begin. ” This is an example of what students all over the country hear before they take mandatory standardized test. Standardized testing has been in the United States for about 150 years, but the tests have grown in use in the 21st century. Students of grades 3-12 take standardized tests each year to compare the students to each other, and to evaluate teaching. These tests have both pros and cons, which causes adults and students to have mixed views about them.

Forms of standardized testing have been in America since before the civil war. American educators began having the ideas of what would someday become tests assessing student achievement in 1838. Early education was mainly educating the elite group of students. But, between 1840 and 1875, schools began changing their goal to educating all students. The year 1965 marked the beginning of the “modern testing movement,” when President Lydon Johnson passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in “effort to raise standards and make education more equitable. The use of machines to grade the tests began in to grow in popularity between 1930-1960. Today, almost all standardized tests are graded by a machine. The number of standardized tests issued dramatically increased in 2002 President George W. Bush passed the No Child Left Behind Act, which enforced annual testing throughout the country.

There are many positive results of standardized testing. These tests are a reliable way to measure student achievement in an effective way. Because they are graded by a machine, the scores can not be altered by a human grader, and it takes less time rade them than it would if people had to go through every test. Also, because all the tests are the same, it is an easy to compare all the schools to each other. Standardized tests prepare students for college. In March 2002, after the No Child Left Behind act was passed, and testing in schools increased, the college dropout rate fell to 47%. With better tests and higher standards students are more likely to stay in college because they have been prepared for it by these tests. Student achievement levels increased with mandatory testing.

One article stated, “93% of studies on student testing, including the use of large-scale and high-stakes standardized tests, found a ‘positive effect on student achievement. ” This evidence shows standardized testing benefits the success level of However, as with anything, however, there are negative effects of standardized testing. Standardized testing, although having some good attributes, have more cons than pros. Although these tests are intended to show student and teacher performance, they actually do not.

For example, if students have a very good teacher, but then do not try on the tests, then that teacher may be punished for the results of the class, even though the students did not complete the tests to the best of their abilities. This is especially the case if the tests are not worth a grade, because then they do not affect the students and the students will not put forth the necessary effort. A main concern about standardized testing is test anxiety. Out of all students, researchers say that roughly 20 to 33 percent of them have some form of test anxiety.

There is so much pressure on students for doing well on these tests, yet the results may not be as accurate because a student may not be able to focus do to test anxiety. Standardized tests do not prepare students for the real world. An education researcher, Gerald Bracey says these tests cannot tests some qualities of students that are very desireable in real world work situations such as, ‘creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self-awareness, elf-discipline, leadership, civic-mindedness, courage, compassion, resourcefulness, sense of beauty, sense of wonder, honesty, integrity. ” All of these qualities would be very helpful in the real world, but these tests do not measure these good traits. The students are trained to only know what is on the tests which, in turn, causes these traits to go missing in our society. Another major concern with these tests is the cost of implementing them.

States have to pay for making up the questions, printing and shipping the tests, scoring the tests, returning the tests to parents and schools, and research and analysis of the scores. One source stated, “In Indiana, it cost $557 per student per year to implement the Graduation Qualifying Exam. ” This is a crazy amount of money for a test! Before the NCLB Act was passed, it was estimated that states spent $423 million annually on testing. After the act was passed, this number rose to $1. 1 billion. This act forced states to enforce testing and because of this, they had to spend more money.

Even with all of these cons, the thoughts of parents and testing about standardized testing is still mixed. There are many mixed views and studies from both parents and students about standardized testing. A lot of parents agree with standardized testing. One source states, “A June-July 2013 Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 75% of parents say standardized tests “are a solid measure of their children’s abilities” and 69% say the tests are a good measure of the schools’ quality.

93% of parents say standardized tests “”‘should be used to identify areas where students need extra help” and 61% say their children “take an appropriate number of standardized tests. ” Just as most parents support the tests, a lot kids are also okay with the tests and most try on them as well. One article published the results of a 2006 test and found, out of 1,342 public students from 6th-12th grade, “71% of students think the number of tests they have to take is about right” and 79% believe test questions are fair.

The 2002 edition of the survey found that “virtually all students say they take the tests seriously and more than half (56 percent) say they take them very seriously. ” Having supportive parents and students is what is going to make these tests actually successful. One little girl from Florida gave a speech on her opinion about the tests. She said they are nerve racking and replace test preparation with fun activities such as recess. Nine year olds are not supposed to be worried about testing.

They are supposed to be making friends and having fun with their peers. Some research studies disprove those stated above. In 2015, a survey was done, and the results disproved some studies from previous years. The report stated, “64 percent of Americans (and 67 percent of public school parents) say there is “too much emphasis on testing. ” Only 14 percent rated standardized testing as a “very important” factor in measuring school effectiveness, and 55 percent (66 percent of parents) oppose test scores being used to evaluate teacher performance.

This is a big change in results in only 13 years. People are changing their minds about these tests, and if they are still being conducted, the results will get less and less accurate. In my opinion, standardized testing is not necessary, for all students. They are expensive and do not yield accurate results. I agree with taking tests such as the ACT for college and such, but I do not feel that our younger students should be required to take these stressful tests.

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