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Essay on The Debate Over Standardized Testing

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In classrooms all across America, students sit perched over their desks in the process of taking standardized tests. As the students take the tests, teachers pace nervously up and down the rows of their classroom, hoping and praying that their students can recall the information which they have presented. Some children sit relaxed at their desks, calmly filling in the bubbles and answering essay questions. These children are well prepared and equipped to handle their tests. Other children, however, sit hunched over their desks, pondering over questions, trying to guess an answer. They struggle to recall information that has been covered many times in class, but they can’t.

Standardized tests are used in classrooms all throughout America, and many people have their own opinions about the ability of tests to reflect the true learning capabilities of our children. Two opposing articles on this subject appeared in At Issue (2012), a book which was published by Greenhaven Press. In “Standardized Tests Effectively Measure Student Achievement,” an article within this book, Herbert Walberg, who has taught at Harvard University as well as the University of Illinois at Chicago for a total of thirty-five years, argues that standardized tests adequately measure student achievement. In contrast, Phillip Harris, Bruce Smith, and Joan Harris’s article, “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement,” argues that standardized tests are not able to accurately measure student achievement. The main points where Herbert Walberg disagrees with Harris Harris, and Smith are: (1) what tests are able to measure; and (2) the consequences of standardized testing.

Herbert Walberg disagrees with Harris, Harris, and Smith about the me...


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...d tests as well as the consequences of standardized testing. After hearing both sides of the argument it is up to the individual to make up their own opinions about the usage of standardized tests in America.


Works Cited

Harris, Phillip, Bruce Smith, and Joan Harris. “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement.” At Issue. Ed. Dedria Bryfonski. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2012. 18-23. Print.

“The Tests Don’t Measure Achievement Adequately.” The Myths of Standardized Test: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do. N.p.: Hoover Institution, 2011. 33-45.

Walberg, Herbert. “Standardized Tests Effectively Measure Student Achievement.” At Issue. Ed. Dedria Bryfonski. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2012. 11-17. Print.

“Stop the War Against Standardized Tests.” Defining Ideas: A Hoover Institution Journal. N.p.: Hoover Institution, 2011. N. pag.


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