Free Essay

Effectiveness of Standardized Testing

In: Social Issues

Submitted By anorris0031
Words 1780
Pages 8
Effectiveness of Standardized Testing
Ashley Norris
Com 220
September 16, 2012
Katie Boswell

Effectiveness of Standardized Testing
Hayden, a second grader, always has had trouble taking tests. From the very first test that he took in kindergarten until now, Hayden has collapsed under the pressure of the test and has never performed at a standard that was acceptable to himself or his educators. Situations such as this one are far too common in our schools today. Many of the children, such as Hayden, have fallen through the cracks in our classrooms. This has caused many people to ask themselves what is going on and how can things be changed. For years, educators have relied on standardized testing to provide them with information on a student’s progress throughout the year. However, much has changed since standardized testing was introduced. Standardized testing no longer accurately depicts a student’s progress in school; therefore, other forms of testing must be implemented to give all students a fair chance. Throughout history educators have used standardized testing as the main tool to predict how our educational system is working. These tests have been used as a way to assess what a student has learned throughout the school year and to inform teachers and school officials about how the curriculum is working. In many cases, the tests are administered closer to the end of the school year. By doing this, it allows the teachers and school officials to assess how the present school year is going and to determine if the student will have success in future classes (Wiliam, 2010). Standardized tests have been around since the 19th Century. They were first used to determine compentency and used as a way to detect the amount of knowledge one has before they entered college. Many colleges used standardized testing as entrance exams. Since the first test was administered, the reports were that they were successful and seemed to be pleasing to citizens (Duncan & Stevens, 2011). However, even though times have changed, standardized tests have remained the same. New research has shown that while each student has retained the same amount of information, these students may not perform the same way on the standardized test (Richard & Stone, 2008). As a result of this research, it is now concluded that standardized testing is not an accurate form of collecting information about the students learning because it does not provide every student with the opportunity to display all of the knowledge that they have learned throughout the year. This poses the question, is standardized testing a fair way to assess what a student has learned? Educators say that by using standardized tests, everyone is given a fair chance to perform well because the tests are uniform and everyone is tested in the same environment. This is where the debate begins. For many years educators have thought that by giving the same exact test to students in the same environment then it is considered fair and students have an equal opportunity to perform well. However, according to Suzanne Carr, a nursing instructor, this is not the case. Ms. Carr states that, many students have other factors that play into their performance on standardized tests (Carr, 2011). These factors are overlooked and are not taken into consideration when evaluating a student’s performance on a standardized test. Anxiety over taking the test and the pressure to perform well, worries from home carrying over to school, or an undetected disorders and learning disability can have a damaging effect on how well a student performs on a standardized test. Pressure from wanting to perform well can create anxiety in a student. When a student is overwhelmed by pressure or anxiety the student is not capable of performing to the best of their ability (Carr, 2011). Matters from home can also play an important role a student’s performance while taking the test. If a student is hungry or thinking about the fight that their parents had the night before then the student could find that they are easily distracted when it comes to test time (Duckworth, Quinn & Tsukayama, 2011). Undetected disorders and learning disabilities, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, can take the child’s attention away from the test and place it on something else. In many cases with Attention Deficit Disorder, the smallest noise can be distracting. None of these factors are known or even looked into when determining how well a student performed on the standardized test. With none of these factors being taken into consideration, one is left to question what the intentions really are of the educators who administer the standardized tests. When standardized tests were first created, the sole intention of educators was to safely evaluate the amount of knowledge that a student has retained throughout the school year and to assess the probability of success in future classes (Wiliam, 2010). However, in more recent years, many feel that intention is no longer valid. The personal gain that a school and its employees stand to benefit from when a student performs well on a standardized test has become increasingly hot topic. According to a recent poll conducted by Purdue University, citizens now feel as though educators are only administering standardized tests so that the teachers can receive bonuses and so that the school can receive more funding instead of assessing the knowledge of a student and how well the school’s curriculum is working (Richards & Stone, 2008). With all of the negativity surrounding standardized testing many citizens are advocating for change and are wondering what can be done.
While advocates for standardized testing still claim that they can lead the way to the future of our educational system, others feel as though this is not the case. Something must be done to ensure that all of our children are given a fair chance at displaying the information and knowledge that they have retained thought the school year. Many teachers and school officials are looking into new ways to improve and move past standardized testing. One of the ways being suggested is portfolio-based assessments. Portfolio based assessments are collections of information pertaining to how a student has progressed and developed throughout the year. The portfolios can be customized according to the school’s curriculum or a student’s special needs (Duckworth, Quinn, & Tsukayama, 2012). Portfolio-based assessments have proven to be beneficial because they allow educators the chance to collect information such as photographs, actual work samples, three dimensional figures or audio and video for the portfolio’s at any point and time throughout the year. By doing this the educators allow the information to be collected when the child is comfortable, relaxed and performing to their highest potential. Educators can review this information and assess how a student has progressed. Another alternative form of assessment being researched is the dynamic assessment. In children with non-English speaking backgrounds or children who do not speak English as a primary language, dynamic assessment can be the best option to decide how much a child has progressed or grown throughout the year. This form of assessment can provide educators with valid and reliable information about a student whereas standardized testing cannot do that. Dynamic assessment is broken down into three parts the pretest, teaching and the post test (Duckworth, Quinn, & Tsukayama, 2012). The pretest is used to evaluate what a student currently knows and what they need to be taught. The pretest is usually administered at the beginning of a school year. Throughout the year the teacher is in the teaching phase of Dynamic assessment. This is when the teacher is providing the students with strategies and is observing how the student accommodates and applies these strategies. Finally at the end of the year a post test is administered where the educators review the pretest and look at what the student now knows as compared to what they knew when the retest was given. The observations gathered throughout the year are taken into consideration to reach a final conclusion as to how the student has progressed and improved. The last alternative form of assessment is curriculum based assessment. Curriculum based assessment is when educators format their curriculum for a specific year and analyze how well the students have performed on assignments and tests. Background information for each student is taken into consideration and at the end of every school year educators meet to assess what has worked with their curriculum and what has not served its purpose. This is an increasingly beneficial alternative to standardized testing because it is ever changing. This form of assessment allows educators to format the curriculum that they are teaching to accommodate the level of learning that a particular student is at. Another advantage that curriculum based assessment has over standardized testing is that is takes into consideration every students background before reaching a final decision on their personal performance for the year (Wright, 2010). All of these alternate forms of assessment can lead everyone into the future of education whereas standardized testing leaves everyone lagging far in the past. Portfolio based, dynamic and curriculum based assessments can ensure that every child is given a fair chance to display the knowledge that they have retained throughout the school year.
In conclusion, standardized testing is no longer an accurate for of assessment to determine a child’s progress in school. Other forms of testing such as, portfolio based assessment, dynamic assessment, and curriculum based assessment are proven to be more beneficial to students than standardized tests. The alternate forms of testing ensure that every child, such as Hayden, is provided with a fair chance to perform to the best of their ability on assessment tests.

References

Wright, R. E. (2010). Standardized Testing for Outcome Assessment: Analysis of the Educational Testing Systems MBA Tests. College Student Journal, 44(1), 143-147.
Carr, S. (2011). NCLEX-RN Pass Rate Peril: One School's Journey Through Curriculum Revision, Standardized Testing, and Attitudinal Change. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(6), 384-388. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-32.6.384
Duncan, B. A., & Stevens, A. (2011). High-Stakes Standardized Testing: Help or Hindrance to Public Education. National Social Science Journal, 36(2), 35-43
Richards, E., & Stone, C. (2008). Student Evaluation of a Standardized Comprehensive Testing Program. Nursing Education Perspectives, 29(6), 363-365.
Wiliam, D. (2010). Standardized Testing and School Accountability. Educational Psychologist, 45(2), 107-122
Duckworth, A. L., Quinn, P. D., & Tsukayama, E. (2012). What No Child Left Behind Leaves Behind: The roles of IQ and self-control in predicting standardized achievement test scores and report card grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 439-451. Doi: 10.1037/a0026280

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Standardized Testing

...Standardized Testing: Debunking the Myths Trestin M. Holmes Wiley College ENGL 1302 08 OL-English Composition Dr. Don Lawson November 17, 2014 Abstract The purpose of this research is to thoroughly examine the myths and preconceived notions pertaining to standardized testing and compare it with factual evidence. The criteria that will be used to accurately analyze this study will consist of evaluating the overall effectiveness of standardized testing in terms of student achievement, estimating how much of a financial burden standardized testing has proven to be in past years, and observing the adverse impact that standardized testing has had on children from a statistical & realistic standpoint. This will undoubtedly give insight on how much of a detriment standardized testing is in today’s society. Standardized Testing: Debunking the Myths What is Standardized Testing? A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. Any test in which the same test is given in the same manner to all test takers is a standardized test. Thesis Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800’s and its use has skyrocketed since the induction of 200’2’s “No Child Left Behind......

Words: 1500 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Importance Of Standardized Testing

...Should we keep using standardized tests to improve the education quality? Key words: standardized tests Introduction: On August, 2015, in the educational episodes Are Our Kids Strong Enough from BBC, 5 Chinese teachers, who are deft at standardized tests, taught 50 British students for 1 month. Consequently, Chinese-education-taught students’ test scores are averagely 15 points above other British students. Also, China, a country with a long tradition of standardized testing, topped all countries in the international rankings for reading, math, and science in 2009 when it debuted on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) charts (Dillon). With the triumph of Chinese education, people are suspecting whether...

Words: 1704 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Educational Equality

...The Writing Process 5/2/14 Standardized Testing These days, if a school's standardized test scores are high, people think the school's staff is effective. If a school's standardized test scores are low, they see the school's staff as ineffective. In either case, because educational quality is being measured by the wrong scale, those evaluations are apt to be in error. One of the main reasons that students' standardized test scores continue to be the most important factor in evaluating a school is deceptively simple. Most educators do not really understand why a standardized test provides a misleading estimate of a school staff's effectiveness, as well as education quality for students. Standardized test are not effective measurements of a student’s knowledge, they create negative impacts on curriculum, and they are racially, socially, and economically biased. A standardized test is any examination that's administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. There are two major kinds of standardized tests: aptitude tests and achievement tests. “Standardized aptitude tests predict how well students are likely to perform in some subsequent educational setting (SAT-I /ACT), both of which attempt to forecast how well high school students will perform in college. But standardized achievement-test scores are what citizens and school board members rely on when they evaluate a school's effectiveness.” (Popham) One of the most important reasons that students’......

Words: 2312 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Ess Environmental Stress Screening

...typically include the following: Temperature variations Vibration tests Pressure Flexibility tests ESS can be performed as part of the manufacturing process or it can be used in new product qualification testing. An ESS system usually consists of a test chamber, controller, fixturing, interconnect and wiring, and a functional tester. These systems can be purchased from a variety of companies in the environmental test industry. The stress screening from this process will help find infant mortality in the product. Finding these failures before the product reaches the customer yields better quality and lower warranty expenses. Associated military terminology includes an operational requirements document (ORD) and on-going reliability testing (ORT).[2][3] Standardized Definitions and Methods[edit] 'The following is extracted from a paper on ESS testing prepared by the U.S. Air Force to provide standardized definitions and methods. The paper is available for unrestricted distribution by writing to OO-ALC/ENR, Hill AFB, Ut. 84056. Ask for OO-ALC Technical Note 01-2002, Environmental Stress Screening of Replacement and Repaired Components, Standardized Definitions and Process, by David Franz.' Introduction[edit] The purpose of this paper is to provide standardized definitions and a roadmap of test processes for the Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) of replacement and repaired components used on...

Words: 489 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Geography and the Diffusion of Human Society

...Controversy over Standardized Testing and it’s Effects on Young Children Cynthia M. Kirchner Western Governors University Sherry Lawler HJT1 Task 1 #54425 Nature of the Controversy: No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Accountability and Standardized/High-Stakes Testing No Child Left Behind (NCLB): is the newest iteration of a decades-old education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The original law provided funding to school districts to help low-income students. Today, NCLB holds Title I schools that receive this federal money accountable by requiring them to meet proficiency targets on annual assessments. Standardized or High-Stakes Testing: These are the tests that are administered by the individual states and consist of multiple choice and true/false questions. The tests are designed to evaluate students in the subject areas of mathematics and reading. These tests have been given to students in grades three through eight. The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is that students will receive 100% proficiency level on these tests by 2014 Accountability: Accountability is the concept that each state set standards for the type and amount of information students know and learn. Children are tested yearly and the scores are reported to the government. Schools that need improvement are identified and they work over the next school year to raise the students’ test scores (Robertson, 2009) Nature of the Controversy: Accountability vs. High-Stakes......

Words: 1507 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Education: the U.S vs Finland

...States Vs. Finland The following paper is a cultural comparison of the United States and Finland educational systems and their outcomes. Almost every American will agree that the U.S is in dire need of change within its education system. I have chosen to compare our system with Finland’s because they are at the top of the list when rated by Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2008). The PISA evaluates students from different countries to measure the knowledge of students who are closer to finishing high school. There are a few major differences in each system which sets one apart from the other. First is how each system is funded. Second is standardized testing in the U.S verses personal assessments in Finland. Lastly, the general outlines of the systems themselves. To begin, the U.S. educational system is governed by individual states. However, there are multiple options for attaining an education in the U.S. Some of these options are: public schools, private schools, charter schools and home schools. States typically put regulations on curriculum for public schools and receive funding from U.S. Department of Education and state taxes (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). Private schools determine their own sets of regulations, policies and curriculum and these rules are created by the board of trustees. Charter schools are funded publically by groups, communities and......

Words: 840 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Shiminaerr

...Technology and Assessment S C Assessing Effects of Technology on Learning: Limitations of Today’s Standardized Tests Michael Russell & Jennifer Higgins Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative Boston College 332 Campion Hall Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 www.intasc.org Assessing Effects of Technology on Learning: Limitations of Today’s Standardized Tests Michael Russell & Jennifer Higgins Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative Boston College Released August 2003 Michael K. Russell, Project Director/Boston College Copyright © 2003 Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative, Boston College Supported under the Field Initiated Study Grant Program, PR/Award Number R305T010065, as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. The findings and opinions expressed in this report do not reflect the positions or policies of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, or the U.S. Department of Education. Assessing Effects of Technology on Learning: Limitations of Today’s Standardized Tests Michael Russell & Jennifer Higgins Technology and Assessment Study Collaborative Boston College Over the past decade, students’ use of......

Words: 2495 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Argument Essay Final Draft

...Standardized Testing: Harmful to Learning Standardized Testing: Harmful to Learning Currently impressionable youth are receiving test results that may seem of little consequence to most but to them it says they are not good enough, or smart enough. Many students have received these results and felt the disappointment it can bring not only to their academic life but also how it melts into their self-esteem and self-worth. Even a teacher feeling they have failed there students, being unable to achieve certain marks knowing students will suffer not only academically but also loose funding for programs that they so desperately need or want. These negative connotations along with incidents of impropriety have come to light in the process of standardized testing in our schools across the nations. Standardized testing has created a test driven education, altering teaching strategies with a higher stress environment for not only teachers but students as well, and has great consequences for all involved if they fail to meet mandated scores. History of Testing Testing isn’t new to education yet it has changed dramatically from where it started many years ago. The history of testing dates back for many centuries for many different reasons including our military, but most are centered on education and its effectiveness as a whole. When the military introduced aptitude tests they where to help find suitable candidates for positions such as officers, and other......

Words: 3603 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Literature Review

...is an area of controversy for classroom teachers’. In general, the literature seems to indicate that there is a need to evaluate grading and testing practices for students with a specific learning disability. Current grading and assessments do not adequately allow for a student with a learning disability to graded or assessed based on their individual achievement level. All students are pushed to take standardized test that do not provide a true indication of a student’s ability for acquisition of core skills. Much of the research has provided various reasons for a change in grading practices and alternative ways to assess students with a learning disability. Through research we can examine and determine how fair grading and assessment practices can improve student learning. Keywords: Accommodations, RTI, inclusion, grading, NCLB, IEP, alternative assessments, learning disability, high stakes testing Literature Review: Grading and Assessing Introduction The enactment of No Child Left Behind The literature review began with finding research on how current grading and assessing practices are not fair for a student with a specific learning disability. This is particularly true for students with a noted 15 point or more discrepancy in reading or math. These core subject areas tend to be subject areas in which standardized testing is given and where the most emphasis to show growth by school districts. The current practice of grading completed work by assigning a letter...

Words: 1810 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Philosophy of Education

...The use of standardized testing as part of the accountability movement is a significant educational issue now. The federal No Child Left Behind mandate, as with any other initiative, has a group of supporters as well as a group in opposition. Supporters of NCLB agree with the mandate for accountability to educational standards, and believe emphasis on test results will improve the quality of public education for all students. Proponents also believe that NCLB initiatives will further democratize U.S. education, by setting standards and providing resources to schools, regardless of wealth, ethnicity, disabilities or language spoken. Opponents of NCLB, which includes all major teachers' unions, allege that the act hasn't been effective in improving education in public education, especially high schools, as evidenced by mixed results in standardized tests since NCLB's 2002 inception. Opponents also claim that standardized testing, which is the heart of NCLB accountability, is deeply flawed and biased for many reasons, and that stricter teacher qualifications have exacerbated the nationwide teacher shortage, not provided a stronger teaching force. Some critics believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority in the education arena, and that federal involvement erodes state and local control over education of their children (White). My position on the NCLB mandate is of the opponent. However, I don’t agree that education is not improving; rather, I......

Words: 1248 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Critical Review

...Critical Review of Cizek, Gregory J. (2005). High-Stakes Testing: Contexts, Characteristics, Critiques, and Consequences In Richard Phelps (Ed.), Defending Standardized Testing (pp. 23-54). New York, New York: Psychological Press. By Cheryl LeBlanc-Weldon When I decided to delve into the issue of high-stakes testing, I purposefully set out to find its defenders. Critical thinking is important to me and part of the process of thinking critically is to view a variety of perspectives on an issue in order to obtain an informed understanding and from that, an opinion. As an experienced educator, I have participated in standardized testing in a variety of ways. I have administered and graded tests in both Mathematics and Language Arts. I believe that currently in Nova Scotia we don’t have the type of high-stakes testing they have in the USA and other parts of the world. Our students do not need to achieve a certain level of achievement on the standardized tests they take in order to grade and teachers are not fired or have their salaries docked when students fail to achieve the benchmarks. Still, the provincial tests our students write do have a degree of importance in that the results are published for media and public consumption (which directly affects the opinion people form of the health of our education system) and certain resources are channeled into schools with the weakest performance. In addition, the way students view themselves and their abilities are......

Words: 3001 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

No Child Left Behind

...welfare of the economy and the communities as well. The report identifies key elements of the policy and makes recommendations for future policy development identifying official and unofficial actors, interest groups, the influence of two of those actors, their influence in further development of the policy Executive Summary A substantial body of evidence has shown that past reforms have largely failed to improve schools, but The Blue Print for Reform along with the Rise to The Top Program (RTTT) has made a significant change in education. The Blueprint for Reform builds on the significant reforms already made in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 around four areas: (1) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness to ensure that every classroom has a great teacher and every school has a great leader; (2) Providing information to families to help them evaluate and improve their children's schools, and to educators to help them improve their students' learning; (3) Implementing college- and career-ready standards and developing improved assessments aligned with those standards; and (4) Improving...

Words: 6990 - Pages: 28

Premium Essay

Optimal Environment

...| | |Optimal Environment | |Methodologies To Ensure An Adequate Education | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ...

Words: 2150 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Literature Review-Differentiated Instructions

...“The relationship between Differentiated Instruction and Standardized Testing Outcomes” Tiffany R. Williams Argosy University June 14, 2012 Theoretical Framework Once the literature review was engineered, it was determined that there was sufficient research provided on differentiated instruction and standardized test outcomes. The theoretical framework consisted of different philosophies and theories on differentiation instruction, meeting the individual needs, and how differentiating instruction and standardized testing outcomes coexist. Differentiation is described as an educational strategy that cogitates that students’ learning profiles are different and that their highest learning capacity is reached when educators accommodate curriculum and instruction to meet individual needs. Other theorists have perceived differentiated instruction in their own ways and the purpose of this literature review is to validate the research study by aligning it with the findings of each point discussed. Literature Review Introduction Education is said to be the process of receiving systematic instruction; the delivery of knowledge and information between a student and a teacher; and the level of cognition. Before the embodiment of education that involves curriculum and assessments mandated by the government, it was merely a system that was in the hands of the state, parents, and church. During this time, schools focused on literacy and assessed students on the basis of......

Words: 2485 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Waiting for Superman

...schools are the answer to fixing the problem with education in the United States. He focuses on the plethora of public schools robustly failing its students and the factors causing them to fail. He gives statistics and facts to support his arguments and emphasizes that which makes a great school or a great student, is a great teacher. He criticizes the public school system by calling the federal, state, local, and district boards a “tangled mess of conflicting regulations and mixed agendas.” He states “the things we’ve done to help our schools work better have become the things that prevent them from working.” He hints on how some political figures believed No Child Left Behind was going to “fix” education, but after a few years of standardized testing in public schools it has only proved to show that in math and reading, students in the United States rank at the bottom when compared to students around the world. While the majority of Guggenheim’s points are legitimate, he...

Words: 1569 - Pages: 7