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Standardized Testing has been a very stressful aspect of education for many students and many may wonder if standardized testing should still be used. Standardized testing began in the 1920s and started as a college entrance exam. Since then, America has adopted this type of test and tests such as the SAT or ACT began to be used. Colleges and Universities all around the U.S. require standardized testing as a part of their admission process. Standardized testing is now used all around the world and is used to determine the students’ level and whether they can move on.
Standardized tests should not be abolished as it is a worldwide way of taking tests that will achieve equality and bring a positive effect on student achievement.
Standardized Testing is a huge controversial issue and topic and many individuals debate on whether or not it should be abolished. Tankersley, a professor of educational leadership, believes that standardized testing should not be abolished and says that “Students who have been taught well will do well on the test” (Tankersley 1).
Individuals who believe that standardized testing should not be invalidated, contend that standardized testing is a reasonable method for testing an individual’s knowledge and smartness, as everybody takes the same test. Furthermore, they contend that the tests are reviewed anonymously so you would get a substantial score and know what areas the individual needs improvement on. Since standardized testing is graded by a machine, it makes the scores more reliable. On the other hand, Monty Neill, an executive director, argues that, “students in these communities are made to take the same tests as their wealthier peers… but they are not given the same quality of preparation for the tests” (Neill 1).
Individuals believing that standardized testing should be validated argue that standardized testing is not fair. It gives an advantage to the fortunate people who are able to afford extra or adequate classes. Those individuals with personal or economic disadvantage would be less prepared for the test as they were not able to familiarize with the topic that will be tested on the standardized test. They further believe that some disadvantaged kids, from less fortunate kids to first-generation kids, may not even get the opportunity to take the test as the test itself cost quite a bit of money as well.
Standardized testing will bring a should be kept as it ensures fairness among all individuals and applicants. With standardized testing, grades won’t be the major or main factor in determining your intellectual ability and it won’t be the resource used to compare you with others. The research director of Thomas B. Fordham Institute states, “Teacher grading can be subjective in other ways, including favoritism towards certain students, and it can find its basis in non-achievement factors like classroom behavior, participation, or attendance” (Churchill 3). Every teacher has their own particular manner of giving evaluations which may bring about various degrees of work expected to obtain high grades. Standardized testing gives you test scores that are anonymously graded, rather than a teacher who grades the test of their students that they know, which will help prevent subjective grading. This would prevent any false scores, which won’t help students learn from their mistakes. At the Center for Studies of High Education, the authors research standardized testing and conclude that they “are the fairest and the most effective assessments for college admissions” (Atkinson and Geiser 3). Standardized testing is the only type of test that can be taken by everyone in the country or state, and each test taker is tested on the same material so the score could be dependable to be used to determine your intelligence. Even more, schools tend to offer less fortunate students poorer education as the school or district is not able to fund a lot of money into education, but the Education Equality Project affirms that “the standardized testing required by NCLB… forces teachers, schools, districts, and states to deliver an equal education to all students” (Education Equality Project 1). No matter what financial position you are in, standardized testing will guarantee that everyone will be given an equal learning opportunity which will lead to fairness in test scores as everyone will be introduced to the same topics. Standardized testing should not be abolished as it will make sure that every individual is given an equal chance to excel academically.
Standardized testing will hold teachers and students accountable for their own tasks, making sure both sides complete their parts to help the students succeed. It can help evaluate the weaker areas of the students so the educators are able to focus on those areas. A reading education expert and art teacher argues that “assessments are truly the circular link that tells [the teachers] where to start our instruction, how much students have learned, and how much they still need to learn to demonstrate mastery” (Tankersley 6). Standardized testing provides an accurate method of understanding students strengths and weaknesses. The students will be informed of the areas they are struggling in and they are able to gain understanding of unfamiliar topics that will prompt better grades in their future and potentially help carry them closer to accomplishing their objectives and dreams. An high school English teacher that has taught for 28 years says that it is important “for teachers to prepare students for the particular skills and areas of knowledge that standardized tests will examine” (Gardner 1). Standardized testing can assist instructors with molding their education and push them to work more enthusiastically as students with great educators will excel on their tests. With standardized testing, teachers are able to bring attention and spend significant time during class making sure that the students understand those concepts being tested, which are the priority and the more important things that students will need to understand for their future. Even more, the senior vice president at the National Center for Education Statistics says that, “For many college admission officers, standardized tests provide a neutral yardstick for measuring student potential and performance” (Buckley 2). The abilities that students are acknowledged to understand will deepen the students earnestness while in class and direct them to work more diligently to perform better. Since students are put into the mindset that standardized testing is a huge part of college admission, the students will work harder to study for the standardized tests and comprehend the concepts to achieve the results they want. Standardized testing will bring a positive contribution of academic success as teachers and students will be motivated to work harder to obtain the results they wish for.
Individuals who believe that standardized testing should be abolished argue that standardized testing is unfair and discriminatory towards colored or less fortunate people. Monty Neill, an executive director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing and chair of the Forum Educational Accountability, strongly opposes standardized testing and states, “It is clear that large numbers of students of color, low-income students, and immigrant students feel that their futures are being destroyed by a test” (Neill 4). People argue that standardized testing displays racism and brings unfair rights to people who are not able to gain access to a good education, however, if it is abolished the majority of the minority will be affected more as the majority of individuals depend on standardized testing. The website, Issues and Controversies, writes an article about Standardized High School Exit exams and claims that “Exit exams have a disproportionately negative impact on the graduation rates of minority students, low-income students and students with learning disabilities” (Issues and Controversies 2). Less fortunate people are usually given advantages, such as reduced prices in standardized tests, like the SAT and ACT. Even more, through the admission process, colleges are aware of any possible learning disabilities or conditions. This is further proved by another website on Issues and Controversies stating that “By demanding student proficiency across the board, NCLB forces the educational system to pay attention to students who have been neglected” (No Child Left Behind 1). It is required by the law that students are separated by race, economic disadvantage, and personal status. All students will be considered and treated equally during the admission process no matter what economic position or race you are.
There are lots of good reasons that show why standardized testing should not be abolished. Standardized testing could be further improved by making sure that every individual has the opportunity to learn each topic. Standardized testing is needed to guarantee equal grading and help students improve. Without standardized testing students won’t be given an equitable education and opportunities.
Buckley, Jack. ‘Standardized Tests Provide Valuable Indicators of Student Potential.’ Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2020. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints,
https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/AKBCDO039718475/OVIC?u=ranc19227&sid=OVIC&xid=afcca1ce. Accessed 13 Apr. 2020. Originally published as ‘Standardized tests offer ‘a neutral yardstick’ in college admissions,’ The Hechinger Report, 24 Apr. 2018.
Tankersley, Karen. Standardized Testing Helps Identify Student Needs. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007.
Neill, Monty. Standardized Testing Has Harmed Poor and Minority Students. Root and Branch, 2009.
Churchill, Aaron. “Bless the Tests: Three Reasons for Standardized Testing.” The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 2015, fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/bless-tests-three-reas ons-standardized-testing. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.
Atkinson, Richard, and Saul Geiser. Achievement Tests Are Good Tools for College Admissions. Center for Studies in Higher Education, 2009.
Standardized Testing Has Improved Education for Poor and Minority Students. Education Equality Project, 2010.
Walt, Gardner. Good Teachers “Teach to the Test”. Christian Science Monitor, 2008. ‘Standardized High School Exit Exams: Should all U.S. states require high school students to pass standardized exit exams to graduate?’ Issues & Controversies, Infobase, 16 Oct. 2009, https://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID=1980. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.
‘No Child Left Behind: Is the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) effective educational policy?’ Issues & Controversies, Infobase, 7 Dec. 2007, https://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID =1957. Accessed 14 Apr. 2020.
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