U. S. student population Essay
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The sources indicate that there are key individual differences among learners which standardized testing may not be sensitive to. Racial discrimination can occur within the confines of a testing facility when certain questions included in the test are more favorable to certain ethnic, religious, or social groups or if they are less favorable to others. This weakness of standardized tests have already been acknowledged back in the Clinton administration when the Educational Commission claimed that SAT scores do not reveal all of the competencies of those who take them.
A particular example that depicts the failure of standardized tests in measuring individual work competence is the case of Hope who was an able education student who could not pass licensure testing despite of her high marks in practical examinations and demo teaching exercises because she has a disorder that makes her read slower than normal. Presentation America is the melting pot of human diversity. Its population is composed of so many different ethnicities, religions, cultures, socioeconomic and sociopolitical stratifications that its minorities are the majority.
It is needless to say that these differences naturally find their way in all aspects of American life, especially in education. However the problem arises when the way that the school system expects students to perform is to be measured by standards that are not fair to all. Standardized testing is the administration of a single, uniform evaluation upon all the members of the population. From standardized tests, a performance of the individual relative to the group can be measured and inferences as to which college he or she qualifies in are made.
This means that the results of standardized tests basically dictate what a student is good enough to do in the academic world. It is therefore of utmost importance that such tests are conducted in a fair, undiscriminating manner and that the tests themselves give equal chances to all to be able to show what they can do. However, the individual differences of students in terms of their language proficiencies, learning, styles, and social and cultural inclinations seriously lead to such standardized tests being biased towards or against certain groups.
The American public school system is composed of a great many students who are using English as a Second Language. These people who come from Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America have as much right as the next student to be able to perform to the best of his or her ability during standardized tests. However, when it is considered that all such tests are worded in formal English, the discrimination against these groups becomes apparent.
A student can be a genius at calculus but if he does not understand terminologies used because he is more used to dealing with their Spanish or Arabic counterparts, it can be expected that he would perform poorly in a calculus exam. There is no question that the English language should be a part of standardized testing and it is, but allowing students who cannot speak English so well no alternatives in taking tests on other topics such as science and mathematics means that the system is forcing them to take English exams regardless of what subject is written on the test booklet.
In any subject, learning is not supposed to be limited within the confines of the pencil and the paper. In science, experiments are conducted in order to verify laws while enhancing students’ competence with various equipment. The competencies that students gain in this manner cannot be tested by multiple choice questions on an SAT examination. The worlds future rocket scientists may not be so keen at memorization but they could be excellent at practical application of theories and concepts.
However, standardized testing may well cut off any chances that they could have to become NASA pilots just because they are not good at multiple choice tests, something that they would hardly need when they’re up in space! Different students have different learning styles, this applies to how students are evaluated as well. If standardized testing would restrict evaluation to just pencil and paper multiple choice items, then it is closing its doors to all the many other learners who just happen to be naturally attuned to other equally important aspects of learning.
Lastly, points of discrimination can be within questions themselves. A standardized test that concentrates too much in using examples in football games when giving details to math problems would confuse those who do not follow the game from answering the questions correctly. Including opinionated, political details to questions about comprehension can distract students from responding. All of these biases should be weeded out of any test that is to be administered to the U. S. student population. Standardized testing is supposed to have the value of giving everyone an equal shot.
It is supposed to promote equality among all existing groups and fairness towards obtaining opportunities. However, evidences sow that the exact opposite may be happening. The current use of standardizes testing is disenfranchising various lingual, learning, and cultural groups from being able to fully express their academic competence. This is a grave problem for the educational system which should be addressed promptly and effectively. Students, educators, and government should all work together to be able to revamp this system of evaluation to standards that are truly fair.