Standardized Testing Debate

April 15th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

The standardized testing debate is ongoing. Teachers teaching to the state test is commonplace nowadays. Although test scores may be improved, it is what is not tested that is excluded from lesson plans, despite its importance. Every year children are required to take end of level testing in order to move to the next grade. The No Child Left Behind law focuses on helping children to move to the next level of learning if they pass the test. Part of the standardized testing debate is that the test is designed to take learning from the entire school year and to evaluate how the students are performing. Unfortunately because these tests are being used to rate schools, many teachers have changed their teaching styles and they are now “teaching to the state test.”

The standardized testing debate concerns parents and educators who feel that teaching to the state test is a bad practice. However, there are a lot of teachers that will still teach this way in order to prevent their students from failing the test and to ensure the school maintains a high reputation. Teaching to the test often leads to meaningless test scores in some opinions while others say that students are not really learning and this teaching method actually has a poor effect on children.

There is pressure for teaching to the state test because the standardized tests are used to see if the students have learned enough at their level in order to move up. This pressure is part of the standardized testing debate The test can help to identify if there are problems like learning disabilities and it also aids teachers in creating better curriculum’s. However because teaching to the test often focuses on math and reading, many students aren’t learning about social studies, which is important to the standardized testing debate. Social studies is how a student will understand what the economy is all about. This particular subject focuses on the stock market, other cultures, and many other things that help children to become better citizens and to understand the world in which they live.

While some students will not have an impact from this teaching style, studies do show that low-income and minority-group students will suffer the most. These students often struggle in society to find a job or move onto secondary education as they have not been given a well-rounded education. These teaching methods are a key component to the standardized testing debate because it may cause students to fall behind their peers, being provided a “dummied-down” curriculum. Their fellow students on the other hand are given special privileges and often get put in “satellite” programs which helps them to read, investigate, think, and explore the world around them and progress rapidly in their education where they are selected for college scholarships.

The standardized testing debate concerns balancing accountability with fostering less tangible and testable qualities that are nevertheless quite crucial to society and education. Raising test scores and teaching to the state test has become such a pressure on educators that some are cheating to get their students to pass. This is one of the negative components of the standardized testing debate. Schools will change their curriculum and many of will use teaching to the test to simply drill content into the heads of the students. Teachers may narrow the curriculum to help students memorize certain facts instead of providing a well-rounded education. However there is another side of teaching to the test and the standardized testing debate. This side is used simply to help students see the format of the test so they are not as nervous about where they place their answers. In other words, such approaches acknowledge the importance of the standardized test by focusing on key organizational and procedural components, without allowing it to dominate instruction.

Is the United States making the right decision to focus teaching to the state test standardized testing? This is debatable as United States is actually the only economically advanced country to use such state tests. Other countries use performance evaluation methods that help to see their children’s real-work and many tests have been done to show that these students can actually outscore United States students.