Standardized Tests Essay

1071 words - 5 pages

Standardized Testing

Standardized testing has been a key part in education for awhile now, but how effective is it really? Does it truly grasp the students’ individualities to highlight their unique abilities? Of course it does not, how can it? If this is true, however, why are they still vital to earn a high school diploma? Education was once about the students, not about the score. It was about enjoying the time in the classroom, creating a desire to want to know more. Standardized tests have taken this away from classrooms, they have caused many pupils to not enjoy the material they are taught while also taking the individualism, the one on one individual experiences, out of the ...view middle of the document...

This is much like the standardized tests students are forced to take each year in order to graduate at the end of twelfth grade. Although students may excel at them and receive the scores expected of them, they do not enjoy the tests and begin to view them, first the tests then education as a whole, as a chore.

Standardized tests set limits on what students are to learn. They force administration and teachers to go over what information the kids will be tested on before they are allowed to teach anything else, therefore forcing the teachers to abide by what the tests cover. Education should be somewhat individualized for the students; it should be geared towards what they accelerate in, are interested in and what will be most useful for them in either their higher education or in their career paths. Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses this in his essay Education. On page 191, he expresses how important he feels it is to have an individualized system and to let the pupils have their experiences with the materials . “But this function of opening and feeding the human mind is not to be fulfilled by any mechanical or military method; is not to be trusted to any skill less large than Nature itself. You must not neglect the form, but you must secure the essentials. It is curious how perverse and intermeddling we are, and what vast pains and cost we incur to do wrong. Whilst we all know in our own experience and apply natural methods in our own business, – in education our common sense fails us, and we are continually trying costly machinery against nature, in patent schools and academies and in great colleges and universities.” Students should be allowed to branch out on their own a bit and attempt to get the most out of their education in a way that is beneficial to them. As Emerson speaks of in his essay, it is vital to have a one on one connection with the education and its materials in order to truly...

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