Standardized Testing Essay
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Standardized testing is seen as the answering to improving public education in the United States. Students face district- and state- mandated tests as well as national ones. However, standardized testing is not the answer to improving education. Teaching skills and learning environments both are effective ways to improve education. Tests are only used to evaluate how well a teacher is doing, therefore students shouldn’t have to take them. “Giving answers under pressure without help or guidance, knowing no second chance will be given to pass is stressful (Mori, 139).
Kids in today’s generation are expected to understand so much more than they need to. According to No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2002 the United States dropped from 18th in the world of math on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st in 2009. A similar decrease was made in the science category but no change was made in the reading assessment. Also research has been done by the National Research Council to prove that standardized testing doesn’t help the education.
Standardized testing has also been claimed to be an unreliable source when it comes to determining the students’ performance.
Long term changes aren’t even caused, only temporary changes in the students learning due to the studying for that specific test. After the test is out of the way children tend to forget the information. Testing brings out the anxiety in young students. The students often react to tests by vomiting, crying, or sometimes even both (http://standardizedtests.procon.org/). Tests that inflict so much pressure on one student can’t possibly be helpful with improving education. Teaching skills play a major role in the improving of public education but, students can only learn as much as they are taught. Being handed a packet of information and being told to fill in the blanks is only going to show that the student can fill in the blanks. Students need the information explained and repeated so they can remember it further on in their life. When teachers are enthusiastic about a certain subject they can catch the students attention. Teacher’s who talk all period just bore students causing their minds to wander. A few days later a test is in front of them and they have no clue what it’s about.
Gettting students interested in different subjects will make them want to work harder and do good on the tests. Also the teacher has to have a welcoming personality. If a student is interested in learning about history but disagrees with the teachers ideas on teaching, the student may choose to purposely do bad on the tests so the teacher looks bad. Elementary school teachers keep the minds of children intersted in school by games and activites. Then as the child goes through middle school the teachers become slightly boring. No more pictures and diagrams or even a break in learning is used. Then high school is there in the blink of an eye and all fun is out of learning. It’s all about colleges, good grades, and preparing for the future. Standardized tests can’t help education improve if students aren’t worrying about current events in their life. Improvements in learning environments would help public education increase. From what children observe at a young age helps determine how they will be in life. To build a good learning environment both the psychologists and instructionalists perspectives are needed.
People learn by experience, not by reading books and taking tests. For example, think about when going to get a job. The person needing a job will be taught by being shown what to do, how to react, and how things work (http://tecfa.unige.ch/tecfa/research/CMC/andrea95/node4.html). The people getting a new job dont learn by reading text then answering questions; they learn by hands-on expierence (some places should offer IQ tests but unfortunately they dont). Also heighly effective teaching and learning environments should make the students feel safe and welcome. Classroom effort should be shown and the teacher should praise it. If students don’t work with teachers to improve situations the information being taught will be forgotten.
By showing the information is still remembered a few days later makes the teacher feel as if he/she is doing well so she will continue to do so. Improving public education shouldn’t be just about standardized testing. Teacher, students, and parents all need to work together to encourage children to strive to do better. All of this information simply proves that tests show nothing more than teachers ability. The tests students are required to take such as state- and district- mandated tests shouldn’t even be in the cirriculum. Information on each of these tests is from each marking period which means its forgotten by the time the nest one is ready.