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Standardized Testing Argumentative Research Paper

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. ” (Martin Luther King Junior) DISCUSS Although some argue standardized testing is the best measure of a student’s knowledge and academic skills, it poorly judges what a student has learned and should be eradicated from schools. Educators and administrators look to standardized testing to provide a measurement of a student’s learning. However, measuring all students in the same way provides inaccurate results.

Each student learns differently and it cannot be displayed on a test. Critics say that while such examinations provide one broad indicator of educational achievement, their attempt to measure all students with a single yardstick creates a false impression of how well schools are preparing pupils for the real world. ” ( Global Issues in Context). Standardized testing provides a relatively easy way to measure how a student is doing is the classroom and how that will carry out into real life situations.

DISCUSS Another problem that arises is how these tests can be unfair. Because these tests are given to a variety of students from a variety of backgrounds, they tend to be biased. According to Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College, “SATS/ACTS are strongly biased against low-income students and students of color”. (www. hampshire. edu). DISCUSS Standard tests cause learning in the classroom to be limited to a set of test questions, instead of allowing teachers to be creative with the the material and how it is being presented.

In doing so, we are hindering a student’s preparation and entrance into the real world where things like creativity and imagination are highly valued. According to the University of Columbia, “standardized testing causes many teachers to only “teach to the tests”… which) fosters an atmosphere that is boring and lacks creativeness. Teachers have such a pressure to get their students ready for these exams and they neglect to teach students skill that go beyond tests ” (2). Tests give a guideline to educators on what to teach and provide tangible evidence of what a student is learning.

However, they also hinder what an educator can teach and in how they choose to present the material. “Our greatly accelerating world needs graduates who are trained to address with innovation, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a capacity for mobilizing collaboration and cooperation. (Jonathan Lash www. hampshire. edu ) School is a launchpad for students that will propel them into a career. Students should be taught not only the core subjects but skills to apply it that will take them beyond the four walls of education.

We should be directing what goes on in the classroom to what is new, what is relevant, and what meets the needs of individual students and individual schools. ” (Dywer Global Isues in Context) What is being taught should not be limited to the information that is going to be tested on. If teachers feel a certain lesson needs to be taught in more detail in order for the tudents to gain a deeper and overall better understanding, they should be able to do so without worrying if they will have time to cover all lessons that students will be tested on.

Standardized tests cause stress on schools and students to perform well in order to receive benefits. ELABORATE “Many argue that individual merit is at odds with the college character of effective schools, and that performance based compensation would, in effect, stifle reform by pitting teachers against each other in search of a more lucrative paycheck. ” (two authors? 4) The success of the school is partially dependent on how tudents perform on standardized tests. It is a convenient and easy way to checkpoint how a school is doing.

However, when the success of the classroom is driven by a rewards system, it becomes clear that a wrong turn has been made. “The success of schools is dependent on the performance of their students. The federal funds are given only to those schools that perform well. This adds an extra pressure on public schools to constantly evaluate their performance. ” (Columbia University, 2) This pressure that is being put on schools, can cause stress and cause them to teach to the test in order to produce the best result. Schools federal funding is partially dependent on their performance.

Because of this, educators and students are under extreme pressure to perform well. “As the pressure mounts on graduates themselves, it is almost certain that educators will continue to be pressed for clear, easy to-read evidence that they are doing their job well. ” (Dwyer, Global Issues in Context) include quote? Standardized tests puts pressure on schools to perform well. Students are tested on their performance for a certain topic on a certain day. This limits students to a multiple choice that will display how well they did -in the measure of uestions right and wrong instead of measuring their growth.

We are in the top one percent of colleges nationwide in the percentage of our undergraduate alumni who go on to earn advanced degrees-this is on the strength of an education where we assess their capabilities narratively, and where we never, not once, subject them to a numerical or letter grade on a test or course. ” (Lash, Hampshire College) Standardized tests judge students based on number right and wrong, instead of overall improvement. This is also unfair to students who are bad test takers or who may be having a rough day.

Standardized testing only evaluates the individual performance of the student instead of the overall growth of that student over the course of a year. ” (Columbia University 2) Students should be judged not by their work of one day, but of their work over the entire school year. This gives more accurate data pertaining to whether or not they have improved. Standardized tests test overall performance instead of overall growth. Many people believe, however, that standardized testing is the best way to develop an understanding of how a student is doing the in the classroom and measure how an educator is doing.

Standardized testing measure how well a student is doing and how well they are prepared for college and beyond. “.. to develop common assessments that will provide meaningful feedback to parents, teachers and policymakers to ensure all students are progressing toward attaining the skills they need to be successful in college, careers and life. ” ( corestandards. org ) “The imperative then is not to eliminate testing; it is to make sure that tests are aligned with meaningful curriculum, rigorous standards, and useful professional development and that teachers are involved in the test adoption process” (Coggins

Opposing Viewpoint in Context). The problem is not standardized testing, rather the way it is approached needs to be altered. Too often these tests are not written to meet the needs of students and educators in one particular school, but a hundred or so schools. If these test were changed to meet the needs of select schools, the tests would gain effectiveness. Although many see standardized tests as the best way to guide classroom lessons and to recieve data of what a student has learned, it limits lessons to a test and causes pressure on educators and students.

In conclusion, standardized testing oes not adequately test what a student has learned. It causes stress on educator and students to perform to a certain level. It causes teachers to teach to a test. Although some argue standardized testing is the best measure of a student’s knowledge and academic skills, it poorly judges what a student has learned and should be eradicated. Although some believe standardized testing is good, it extinguishes creativity within the classroom and does not properly measure a student’s growth. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. ” (William Butler Yeats).

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