Standardized Testing Essay

1813 words - 8 pages

Standardized Testing
On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act. This act was signed to redefine the government’s role in education; as well as the teachers and parents (US Department of Education, 2004). The main purpose of standardized testing is to determine the percentage of students that are knowledgeable and skilled in each of the three subject areas of reading, mathematics, and science. The results from these tests are to ensure the state’s requirement for adequate yearly progress has been met. It was designed to hold schools and teachers accountable, which has caused focusing a great deal of attention on the results of state standardized testing. ...view middle of the document...

56). When teachers have to narrow or limit the curriculum to align it with state standards, they take the chance of not preparing their students to the best of their ability. As a result, teaching to the test is the most common teaching method that is currently being used.
Teaching to the test has become more common in order to focus more time on preparing students for standardized tests. A national study conducted in 2007 by the Center on Education Policy, found that 44% of schools had reduced the amount of time spent on science, social studies, and arts in order to focus more time on reading and math for standardized testing (Center on Education Policy, 2013). Since teaching to the test mainly focuses on reading, math, and science it does not leave much time being spent on social studies. Learning about social studies is how a student will understand the economy and what it is all about. It also focuses on the stock market and other cultures to give them a better understanding of the world in which we live in. The lessons in the classroom have been changed by teachers who prepare students for standardized testing by focusing on test taking skills, which is an approach that is sometimes referred to as drill and kill (National Education Association, 2004). Consequently, what is not tested is not taught.
Standardized testing places each student on the same level and takes away from their creativity and critical thinking skills. Educationally speaking, there are numerous of ways to reach out to students because each child learns differently due to the different learning styles and techniques. There are several different learning styles; the most common are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Some students have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of other styles. While others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances of learning. There is no right or wrong style of learning, but that is what the end result is showing. The multiple choice format of standardized tests is an insufficient assessment tool because it encourages a way of thinking that there are only right or wrong answers” (Sacks, 1997). Students are learning every day that they do not have to think outside the box or to be creative because the test taking strategies they are taught will help them to be good at memorizing facts and how to eliminate wrong answers. Dennis Van Roekel, MA, President of the National Education Association, stated that “standardized tests have stunted the creativity and critical thinking skills of American public school children and has prevented teachers from reaching the full potential of their students due to the amount of time teachers are spending on teaching to the test” (National Education Association, 2011). Furthermore, teachers are using the amount of time spent in the classroom to prepare students for standardized tests.
Many state and local school board officials are more focused on standardized testing to a...

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