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Standardized Testing

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Essay title: Standardized Testing

Ever since the beginning of school, standardized tests have always been a very important part of one’s future. Students of all ages take these tests and what they do on them helps teachers and parents decide where the students should be placed. For example, a student could be in an honors class or a “special” reading or math class based on their performance. Many students benefit from these tests and are placed in a high class but others are victims and are placed in a class that they know is below their level. Andrew Strenio Jr., a well known writer, once said, “We need to stop relying so heavily on tests that predict the future and start evaluating people more on their actual performance.” Though unfortunately not everyone believes this and still today students are being rejected from a class or college because of his/hers test score. We need to stop letting tests control our futures and instead look at a person for what they are really capable of doing.

To further understand why this is so important it is necessary to know that not everyone can take a test and do well on it. As Andrew Strenio Jr. states, “You may be more intelligent, more skilled, more decent than the next person but if you can’t handle the challenge of these tests, chances of a person who doesn’t know the information but favors tests will pass you.” Not being able to take these tests really destroys your future. Your chance at getting an award, a scholarship, or even getting into a good college or occupation would be very hard. These tests put kids on a “fast”, “average”, or “slow” track in school and if you know the information but can’t express and show it through a test you will get left behind.

Standardized tests are tests where students just answer questions based on what they should know. If this is the case why do so many students stress out and worry before one. Students are afraid that they will forget or not know the information. They get frustrated, confused, and because of this they fail. Time is also a factor. Most students stress out when they’re under a time limit. Not all can think and stay on task even if they know the information. Also all children learn at different paces, but when it comes time for the test the teacher should have already gone over how to study and take the exam. The National PTA has seen this and argued that “A child shouldn’t be penalized because a local school system has chosen a different sequence than the test maker.” (Strenio, 103)

When it comes to school standardized tests it has been proven that these tests are not perfect because they leave too much out. There isn’t a test that can truly provide infallible measures of our ability. As Estelle Gellman says, “We cannot look at a test as an instrument to measure our skills and abilities.” We have to look beyond the test scores and come to understand that test scores do not prove our true intelligence. One’s test score should not put them into a certain “Category.” Being “SLOW” or a JUST OK/AVERAGE student is nothing all kids want to be called. Andrew Sternio Jr. explains that every kid is unique and is their own person. How they learn should not set them apart from the others. Their test score should not be the decision maker for where one should be sorted or placed. (192-198)

As schools try to sort these students and make standardized tests a dependant part of their future William Feldman concludes that:

Intellectual life is being squeezed out of classrooms in the name of higher standards. Teachers are using these tests as an every day exercise and they don’t even let a student respond to the question with an individual answer using their talent,

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