The first part of the essay discusses the issues with the topic of why standardized testing is failing students on their education. The second part explains why chose to write about the issue on standardized testing. The third part explains the history behind standardized testing. The fourth part of the essay explains how the issue I chose is being handled in the United States today and finally in the final part of the essay I explain how and what I would o do to solve my issue.
This essay has nine credible sources and references cited in the essay that back up my issue with standardize testing. In the beginning of the essay I state several problems that students and educators have with standardized testing I quote credible sources that stand by my opinion and the cause and effect of the problems are also stated within the first portion of the essay. In the part where I talk about the issue have with it, take you back to my past with the problem and how I can relate with students and educators with the issue.
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Then add credible sources that talk bout the history on standardized testing and how it has changed. I include credible sources that will state the purpose of standardized testing today. Then I talk about how standardized testing is being dealt with today and how it is affecting our federal government. Finally I state my solutions on how to solve the problem. Standardized Tests Failing to Prepare Students for Real World Standardized tests are used to judge and review students. Standardized tests are used to see where students stand on their academic level.
Depending on the score the students make on the standardized tests, it chooses which classes the dents may take. The classes could be remedial, average or more advanced. Standardized tests are set as a school’s first priority on how to go about education. Teachers and students both stress government-based tests so that the school can at least meet its standards or try to go beyond them to be recognized. Standardized testing is the main focus throughout a student’s career; students are forced to study constantly on math and reading, excluding other broad subjects that will suit them well in life beyond high school.
Education’s ball and chain is standardized testing. Standardized jesting should not be used as its first priority to teach students because it lacks modern world uses, limits student’s knowledge and discourages students from learning. Bobbie A. Solely (2009), a professor for elementary special education at Middle Tennessee State University states “schools no longer strive to create informed citizens; instead they focus only on teaching children what is essential for them to know to pass the government mandated exam. The statistics accumulated in the past decade clearly show that schools use most of their time to teach their students what is needed to et the score requirements of the standardized tests. Schools fail to teach their students about real life issues and scenarios by cutting classes not meant for standardized testing. Schools do not make the same effort to include health, financial, government, or fine arts classes as they do for the testing classes. Students are left unprepared for the real world, because of how schools choose to go about making standardized testing their first priority.
Amy Whither and Denies B. Geiger (2011) both teachers and administrators in New Jersey public schools state “In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted to place more accountability on schools to improve student’s achievements. Emphasis was placed on standardized testing to ensure children would be proficient in math and literacy. Teachers now teach to test, and that little time is spent on teaching non-tested subjects. Schools that do not show evidence of sufficient student achievement can lose finding or be subject to other punitive actions. Students feel as if they are pressured and rushed to learn how to solve test problems for the state exam near the end of the year. Not only are the students pressured but also the teachers; if heir students fail to show the standard tests score requirements, the teacher might lose their job or be punished. This causes the teacher to rush their studies and neglect the students who show lack of comprehensiveness towards the material, thus causing the teacher to leave behind those students, or keep moving forward with the students who are progressing faster, causing some students to understand the problems and progress faster than others.
It also causes other students to fall behind and show lack of interest in education. Eric Batterers and Heather Newton (2011), a J. D um lauded from Georgetown University Law Center, states, “Standardized test presents numerous problems in American education. First, it fails to take into account that not all children learn the in same way. ” Students who feel as they need a bigger challenge in their education and cannot go beyond where they stand in their studies, simply because a standardized test score told the school that the student could not advance, is not fair on the student’s intellect and freedom of thinking.
The government and school educators should take into account that students are humans and not some statistic, teachers make auricles based on the standardized tests for the students, the students have to follow and complete the curriculum to have a grade based upon them, and the grade determines the students stand point on his or her knowledge. There are many problems and miscalculations with that assumption.
Some students find their interest in being a writer, artist, musician, philosopher, engineer, scientist, or politician although the schools systems revokes student’s privileges to follow something that interests them, rather than to support the student on helping him or her choose a career, causing the student to lose interest in education and eventually dropping out. Standardized testing can come as a waste of government spending money if students are just going to drop out and fall behind in their studies.
Sam Dillon (2006), a New York Times reporter, states “The intense focus on the two basic skills is a sea change in American instructional practice, with many schools that once offered rich curriculums now systematically trimming courses like social studies, science and art. ” Schools all across the nation are responding to just having math and reading in their curriculum. Schools are imitating class choices; math and reading have become the number one focus in schools nationwide because schools want their students to score high on the math and reading government based standardized tests.
Having the same curriculum for every single student in a certain grade level can be a real big problem. Because it would influence the students to focus on a career the students would like to have in the future, students would all have to think the same and have no input from their strategic thinking. It will be easy for students to cheat off of each other, and they will all be seeking the same careers after they graduate. Otis Kramer and Noel Vance (201 1), an MA English teacher at Colorado State University, states “The goal of public education should be to help each unique individual achieve his or her potential as a person.
Setting educational standards may lead to an overemphasis on some subjects at the expense of others. ” The government is the one truly teaching the students, not the teachers. Teachers are set to follow a curriculum by the government to teach their students; if not followed, teachers will be punished. Teachers are disappointed in this. An educator should teach his or her students the way they feel is best and not be enthroned like some puppet by the government.
The government does not sit in class next to the students and observe what will suit them best for the future. Instead, the government’s only observation of a student is their grades, not individual intellect. This makes students feel unimportant because no one is listening to them. They are forced and pressured to think like the government wants them to, and it is impossible for them to speak out against the government. If not, they fall behind the lectures based on the standardized tests, causing them to fail and be retained.
Standardized tests re causing students to all think alike. They cause students to cheat of off each other because they are all given the same work sheets; they are not given different assignments, or essays to have their own input. Standardized testing is ruining the individual intellect of student. Scoring a high grade in a rigorous course has always been my goal; it allows me to feel proud of myself and it shows me that am able to accomplish great things, if I put the time and effort into it.
Not always have I been allowed to take rigorous courses that require me to push the extra mile to get the A I always strive for. There was once a course I wanted to take on during my JAR year of high school; it was a dual credit college course. I was very happy to hear that such a course existed. I thought to myself that I would be able to get ahead in college, that no longer would I have to sit in class and study for a standardized test, that no longer would I be getting the same education everyone else was and that I would gain knowledge that would actually suit me well in the near future.
The only thing that I had to do to get in the course was to score a minimum requirement grade on a standardized test set for the course. I was ready to take on the dual credit course and eager to start the class; all had to do was score a good enough grade to get in. Before I had gone to take the test, I had gone around asking my teachers and counselors to see if they thought could handle the class. All of them agreed that could. The teachers I asked said that I had a hard work ethic and was above the average student. The teachers all had good expectations for me.
My advisors and teachers said that it would be better for me to start expanding my level of knowledge beyond high school, because I was limited to my knowledge in high school. I was expecting to learn great things in college. Was ready to expand my knowledge and open my mind to a whole new level of thinking. I was confident in myself, and I was happy to know that so many people believed in me; all I had to do was pass the test. I took the test but when my results came back, they were not what was hoping for. I had gotten my tests results in an envelope.
Before I had opened that envelope I was confident, happy, full of excitement and ready to take on a whole new approach to my education, the approach I have always wanted. I took a look of what was inside the envelope and all that joy and excitement .NET away. I was shocked, sad and angry for what it said inside. It said I wasn’t good enough to take on the courses I had worked so hard for. Failed two portions of the test, only by a couple of points. Although I did have one of the highest essay grades from my class that attempted the test, it was still not enough to put me in the spot so desperately wanted.
Imagine being told by a piece of paper that you aren’t good enough to expand your own knowledge by your own choice, being told by a piece of paper that you aren’t good enough to move forward, to be told by a piece of paper that you have to tat where you are in your own mind and thinking. You think to yourself that you are a failure, that there is no other solution but to give up on your education, those where the signals I was getting. Because that piece of paper that had my test results were telling me that was not ready for college, when so many school educators believed I was.
I was angry and upset; my teachers were shocked and confused as well. They all agreed that I should attempt again my senior year to get in the course. Was to sorrowful to even think about it. And I decided not to take it the following the year. A standardized test had defeated my hope to move forward with my education beyond high school. Thought had no support in moving forward. Was wrong. I got to know one of my teachers a little better during my senior year. I was expecting him to be boring in his style of teaching because he was near his sixties.
Most of the students in the class disapproved and did not like his teaching style; I enjoyed it and took it as a life lesson. Students no longer had to study for standardized state tests exams during his course, so the teacher taught the class he wanted to. He made us write essay after essay, and I enjoyed it. I had my own input in things, and my voice was being heard by someone who was interested in it. He told me was his star student. Couldn’t believe it; I had finally found that hope I had lost after receiving my test scores. I never had a failing grade in his class like previous classes that made me take tests after tests repetitively.
Instead I had all As because he made us write essay after essay. I was happy to see my grade. One day stopped after class and had a conversation with him. What he told me was what made me speak out against standardized tests. My teacher that was nearly sixty years old during my senior year told me hat when he was in school there was no such thing as government mandated exams. That instead he would show up to class and listen to the lectures his teachers gave and there only assignments were to write about them and to have their own input on the lecture.
He told me there was no such thing as a grade either; he wasn’t labeled as a pass or fail student. I thought how lucky it must have been for him to not have all that pressure bestowed upon him. He gave me back my confidence to get back in the right track with my education when he mentioned that he taught the class at a college level. I felt as if was ready to go to college again. One last thing he mentioned during that conversation was that he wished teachers didn’t have to follow a curriculum that was made for them by the state, and that it discourages teachers from teaching and students from learning. Oldest agree with him more. I had learned more about myself and what was interested in his class than any other class. Gained knowledge beyond my expectations, knowledge that I would soon use in my life, in just taking his course. My teacher’s education system back in his day compared to mine today was way different. He mentioned things I wouldn’t mind to have in today’s education system. He told me that essays were the majority part of his work. He told me that there weren’t standardized tests students had to take so that they could advance grade levels.
Instead of teachers having to follow a government curriculum, the teachers could teach their own way and decide on their own curriculum. My teacher mentioned that he was able to explore his interest in the subject areas presented to him during his high school years, that there was no double blocking, which is double placement in math and reading classes and that his hours for other broad subjects, and elective lasses weren’t cut short to add more math and reading hours to his schedule.
I asked him how he feels about teaching today’s generation and he said that when he taught a lower grade level that he was upset, all because he had to teach to the test, and he had no word in it. That is why he decided to teach seniors, because at that point students are no longer focused on standardized testing, because most students are done with them. Mica Assist and Maureen McMahon (2011), who has a Master’s degree in curriculum development and instructional technology from the University of Alabama tastes “Standardized test have been used in America schools since the sass’s to help identify students with special needs.
Since that time, a series of legislative measures including the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 , has placed increasing importance on the results of standardized tests, in response to those measures, public schools currently administer standardized tests as a perquisite for receiving federal funding. ” The reasons for standardized tests have evolved since the ass’s till this day. Standardized tests are now used to decide how schools receive their funding; the higher he students score on their tests, the more federal funding the school receives.
This becomes a problem when students in certain schools cannot score high enough scores to keep on receiving federal funding. The school might have to be shut down and the students from that school would have to move to other nearby schools and over crowd their new school, causing teachers to ask for more funding money and more money in their pay checks, for having more than enough students in their classrooms, causing the government a great deal of their federal budget. According to McMahon (2011), ‘Tests were used in ancient China, Greece, ND Rome to determine fitness for public government service.
Many early testing systems attempted to evaluate reading and writing abilities as well as qualitative characteristics such as creativity. Attempts to codify testing procedures eventually made it necessary to reduce the scope of disciplines being In today’s era, standardized tests in the Ignited States are used to quantitatively measure intelligence, to figure out a person’s learning difficulties. America has gone through several types of educational systems. Not until the year of 1914 was the first multiple choice test created. The multiple choice test style soon after became favorable for university exams.
In 1926, the Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT was created, which relied mostly on multiple choice questions and very few and short essay questions. In the sass’s U. S schools began using standardized tests to determine educational advancement. Not until the ass’s did the U. S began to fall behind in certain subject areas compared to other countries. So in 1 964 congress pushed on the standardized tests on to elementary and middle schools, to try to improve the Use’s student’s math and reading skills (McMahon). The method and reasons for using standardized tests has changed here in the U.
S from when ancient China, Greece, and Rome used standardized tests. They are now used to set appropriate achievement levels for students, to choose subject areas for students, develop assessments and objectives for students, to develop guidelines for students, to develop standards and procedures for district areas and to develop results for the (NAG) National Education Assessment Progress (McMahon). The reasons for standardized testing have also had a dramatic change; standardized tests were used to see owe an individual’s mind was different than others by their creativity and thoughts.
Now they are used to separate students based on their knowledge. Most educators argue that it is not an accurate way to measure a student’s capability to access his or her unique mind. In the year 2001 the No Child Left Behind Act or (NCSC) was enacted by president George W. Bush and has continued to be in the U. G’s education system The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 , instated by George W. Bush was the beginning to a new start to try to improve the United States’ educational system. In the year 2008, President Barack Obama was elected to lead United States and in the year 201 2 he ran for a second term and won.
Barack Obama made education a major part in his campaign. Barack Obama knows a good education sets students up for a better future and now he is trying to remake the education system. In an article by Motor Rich (2012), a New York Times reporter states, “The Obama administration has freed schools in more than half the nation from central provisions of the No Child Left Behind education law. ” Obama has now released 26 states from the NCSC Act and 1 0 more states are pending on their waivers from the release of the INC_B Act.
In exchange for the waivers, schools and districts must prepare their students for college and careers with new standards and goals met for them and both students and teachers will have evaluations on their achievements. The waivers will also save up to two billion dollars in federal funding (Rich). As Obama tries to fix the education system that will better suit students independently, there are schools that already raised their academic bar on all their students and are seeing positive results.
Stacy Teacher (2006), a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor wrote an article about schools in the Baltimore County that have seen dents more interested in their education, because they have raised the academic bar on all their students. According to Teacher, their superintended Harrison states, “Moreover, we’re finding out that if you create stretch goals for children, even the most challenged students will make a greater effort, and the experience alone puts them in a much better place. In the year 2000, Harrison gathered ideas from politicians, parents, and school custodians and developed the “Blueprint Progress,” which are broad goals to help their student’s graduate high school. Since then Baltimore County has ad the highest graduation rate for black males among the IIS compared to more than 10,000 counties (Teacher). As the superintendent pushes more for an equal high standard education on every single one of their students in the district, would do the same if I was in charge. If could control how students went on about their education, would make education a fair and valuable education for all students.
Danville Allen (2012), a UPS Foundation professor of social science at the institute for Advance Study at Princeton, NJ states, “Human beings generally need to foster their development along four mentions: They need to prepare themselves for bread-winning work; for civic and political engagement; for creative self-expression and leisure. ” These are skills that school’s fails to teach students in their curriculums. Students should learn all these skills throughout out their whole school career, so that they know how to live a decent life and be respectful to others and themselves.
If schools keep on pushing toward mainly focusing on standardized testing, future generations of humans will have problems building a life of their own. They will fail to also support their children if they id not get a good education, causing a lot of different problems in the future. Standardized testing needs to leave school systems, to be replaced by writing classes, government classes, political classes, ethnic classes, biology and life skills classes, and classes that will leave students prepared for a better future and life that is ahead of them.
If I was in control of the education system of the United States, these would be my solutions. I would get rid Of standardized testing because I wouldn’t want all the students learning the same thing day in and day out of school. I would want them to learn meeting different every day, not just in a particular subject, but in every type of subject. This would open up students’ minds so that they could find out what they are interested in and what and how they want to build their career. Second I would add classes to a school’s curriculum.
I would add political classes, government classes, history classes, finance and business classes, and these classes would the most important classes that students would need to focus on so that students won’t go out into the world after high school not knowing their rights as a citizen and make foolish financial sessions so the economy wouldn’t be in a rod like it is now. Another change I would make is that teachers wouldn’t make their students take tests. Instead they would have to make their students integrate their ideas with the lesson given that week in an essay. Teachers would give them the whole week to write an essay on the lesson.
That way federal spending money can be saved, and not wasted in textbooks that aren’t used throughout most of the year. In order to make the system I have put out for school districts work, would have teachers and students both write evaluations. I would make both the searchers and students write a minimum of an 8 page essay paper at the end of the year. I would make the students write about what they learned in class and what they thought about the teacher’s method on going about the lessons, and I would make the teacher write about what she or he taught in class and how her or his students acted.
I would make them both turn them in to the principle, and if they did not match, the teacher would be put under investigation for the next year and automatically deduct money from the teachers’ pay check and have the students take a summer course as punishment. Old make the students summer course exciting and fun so that they would not think it is a horrifying experience to learn. At the same time would make sure they get the most out of their education by appointing them a teacher that had excellent evaluations at the end of the year.
Teachers who would have to teach summer classes would receive a bonus and a two extra days of vacation during the school year. Students who performed excellent throughout the whole school year would receive an award, not a prize because it would make students feel below them. The award could win them a prize, at the end of his school career, that way dents could stay motivated to do the right thing every year. Not only would the teachers and students be on check, but also the school administrators. Would hire three federal investigators for every district in the U.
S to investigate the administrators every month to make sure they are not wasting money on any unnecessary goods, and doing an excellent job on giving his or her students the best education he can provide for them. If administrators were to be found guilty of any unnecessary action, they would be warned first by the investigators. If they did not take the first warning he would be out his job on his second strike. This would let students know that they are being watched and there are consequences for every unnecessary action.
Overall Schools should give students the option to choose if they want to advance in their education and set their academic bar higher. Standardized testing should not be a school’s first priority on how to go about teaching. Teachers and students both should not stress about standardized testing. They should rather focus more on the student’s interest. Schools should involve other types of classes taught in their curriculum, such as fine arts, business and media classes. Students need to be free thinkers; students would not study for standardized test.
Instead they should get a better more informative education, so that when they become adults they will be more aware of how the world works. Schools should stop treading education as a national competition so that students can be more open to more than just one or two subjects. Schools need to give students more opportunities to prove they are worthy to achieve their goals, so that students may gain confidence within themselves so that they can be successful beyond school.