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The Failure of Standardized Testing Essay

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Nearly thirty percent of students in this year’s graduating class will not earn their high school diploma (Swanson). In the United States the rate of college graduation is only thirty eight percent, while in 2010, Canada’s college graduation rate was near sixty percent (Lee). In an effort to help with the problem of achievement in America, President Bush, in 2002, signed the No Child Left Behind Act. The Act called for 100 percent of students to be proficient in both reading and math in state given tests by the year 2014. Some criticized that the act permitted states to define what proficient is. Others criticized the punishments for not meeting the targets that were set, which included closure or privatization of schools, losing funds, or being labeled as failing (Ravitch web). Because of those factors, heavy emphases on standardized tests were put in place in schools across the United States. The No Child Left Behind Act’s use of standardized testing negatively affects schools by pressuring schools to change curriculum, cheat to attain better scores, and by making children ill-prepared for higher education.
Schools changing curriculum to cater to the testing requirements is one way the No Child Left Behind Act negatively affects schools. This article describes consequences of the heavy emphasis on standardized tests made by the No Child Left Behind Act, “The Overall lackluster performance is certain to revive the debate on whether history and other subjects, such as science and art, are being pushed out of the curriculum because of the focus on math and reading demanded under the No Child Left Behind federal educational law” (Banchero web).
Many of the courses that are being pushed out are courses that a...


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Works Cited

Banchero, Stephanie. “States Fail to Raise Bar in Reading, Math Tests.” Wall Street Journal 11 August 2011: A2. Print.
---. “SAT Reading, Writing Scores Hit Low.” Wall Street Journal 15 September 2011: A2. Print.
---. “Students Stumble Again on the Basics of History.” Wall Street Journal 15 July 2011: A3. Print.
Lee, Micheal. “US College Graduations Rate Lags, Speaker Says.” The Chronicle: Web. 21 September 2011.
Ravitch, Diane. “Obama’s War on Schools.” Newsweek 4 April 2011: Vol. 157, No. 14. Print
---. “Why I Changed My Mind About School Reform.” Wall Street Journal 9 March 2010: A.21. Print.
Sarrio, Jaime. “Atlanta’s Testing Scandal Adds Fuel to U.S. Debate.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution 10 July 2011: A1. Print.
Swanson, Christopher. “U.S. Graduation Rate Continues Decline.” Education Week: Web. 2 June 2010.


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