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Problems With Standardized Testing Essay

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In Standardized Testing and Its Victims, an article written for Education Week, Alfie Kohn states:
Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole.... Our children are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world. While previous generations of American students have had to sit through tests, never have the tests been given so frequently, and never have they played such a prominent role in schooling. (1)

Kohn accurately describes one of the main flaws in America’s education system: standardized testing. According to the article No Child Left Behind, legislation passed in 2002 requires schools to submit scores to the state every year for evaluation (1). Originally intended to be used for improvement, the scores of these annual assessments are overused and have become the sole representation of a school’s success. It is nearly impossible to create an advanced future by reforming schools based on an unreliable assessment tool. Standardized testing is an inaccurate measurement of a student’s abilities because it ignores other forms of aptitude, discriminates against certain students, and negatively affects education methods.

Standardized testing piles an immense amount of pressure onto all parties involved. A report compiled by Joan L. Herman and Shari Golan entitled Effects of Standardized Testing on Teachers and Learning– Another Look explains the main causes of pressure from standardized testing. School districts use the scores to evaluate teachers and hold teachers accountable for the scores. Insufficient performance could endanger the teacher’s job and poten...


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...a.edu/products/reports/Tech334.pdf

Hicks, Molly G. “The Cons of Standardized Testing.” Standardized Testing. n.p., 2005. Web. 14 April 2012.
http://astro.temple.edu/~mhicks/standardizedtestingcon.html

“How Standardized Testing Damages Education.” Fairtest. n.p., 20 Aug 2007. Web. 17 April 2012.
http://www.fairtest.org/facts/howharm.htm

Kohn, Alfie. “Standardized Testing and Its Victims.” Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education, 27 Sep. 2000. Web. 15 April 2012. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2000/09/27/04kohn.h20.html

“No Child Left Behind.” Education Week. Editorial Projects in Education, 19 Sep. 2011. Web. 14 Apr. 2012.
http://www.fairtest.org/facts/howharm.htm

Young, Katie. “What’s So Bad About Standardized Testing?” Standardized Testing. Michigan State University, n.d. Web. 17 April 2012.
https://www.msu.edu/~youngka7/cons.html


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