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High Stakes Testing Essay

900 words - 4 pages

Education has always been a very hot topic. Since the beginning of time, we, the people, have known that education is very important. That has never been disputed. The problem lies in the following question: Who should determine how education is measured and run? For years this has been argued, and still today has yet to be answered. Should education be a local, state, or federal decision? Because that question is still unanswered and probably always will be I believe the focus should be on what we can change; how should the students be assessed and held accountable? This is when standardized testing comes into effect.
High stakes, standardized tests are everywhere. Almost every state has ...view middle of the document...

You also have the issue of every child is given the same test, no matter of ability level. That in itself contradicts what teachers are taught. You can not treat each child as an individual and expect them all to be on the same level. It is not, in general, that educators and parents are against standard-based education, being accountable for student achievement, or even large scale assessment. Rather, the issue concerns the unintended consequences resulting from these tests. These tests are supposed to promote motivation. In turn “… the effect is directly opposite for some. When faced with another example of failure, some students will tend to give up rather than redouble their efforts.”(Boston, Carol. (1998). The Debate Over National Testing. http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Debate_Over_National.html)
It also tends to restrict the curriculum being taught. “The high stakes nature of the assessments tends to encourage educators to focus narrowly on the content actually on the test. Therefore, the content on the test is no longer a sample from a larger whole, it becomes the whole and curriculum becomes restricted.” If all children are to be tested at the same level then not only do all of the above questions come into effect but so does the issue of money. “Nationwide testing would lead to genuine school improvement and higher student achievement or just sort out and penalize low-performing schools and the students in them, who are disproportionately low income and minority. They argue that until there is truly equal opportunity to learn for all students (with equal access to technology, highly qualified teachers, good facilities, and other learning inputs), testing is an empty...

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