Standardized Testing. By: Joseph Johnson Professor John Domini Section- rk 16 April 2013. No Child Left Behind Act. Started January 23, 2001. Required schools to receive federal funding to administer a state-wide standardized test.
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Hello class, I did my mediation on standardized testing in elementary schools, and the effects they have on the students.
By: Joseph Johnson
Professor John Domini
16 April 2013
The No Child Left Behind act is one of the key reasons for standardized testing. This act requires schools to receive federal funding to administer a state-wide standardized test. Also, let it be noted, the act does not assert achievement standards.
So, who actually wants standardized testing to be changed? It turns out teachers want the system changed. A national survey showed only 7% believed it should be kept. The rest say quizzes, test, observations, summaries, and reviews are more essential.
Now for the benefits of standardized testing. Having standards keep schools and teachers accountable for their work. Accountability also keeps the schools on task for their grade. The most severe consequence of not keeping scores up to par could be closure of schools. This is arguably the strongest benefit of the system.
Another benefit of standardized testing would be analyzing the data that is produced. Basically, students results are data points on a chart. The Dept. of Education can then analyze what programs are sustaining high scores and what programs to add. Doing this gives the ability to compare and change schools.
Now for the flaws in standardized testing. Teachers tend to teach toward the test and not toward new material. This causes teachers to review subjects already taught. Also, the NCLB act forces schools to make annual yearly progress. Meaning if they do not make a certain amount of progress each year they will be criticized.
Another significant flaw is that tests cannot measure all subjects a class teaches. Most sections to a standard test are 30 minutes to and hour long and have roughly 45 to 60 questions. This can only give you a rough estimate of a students ability. It also leaves out some core subjects like art, music, and geography.
Now for and alternative to standardized testing or a mediation between not having tests and having them. The most common alternative I found was project based learning assessments. Some current ideas of this would be, analytic essays, social studies research papers, science experiments, and applied mathematics problems. These would all incorporate oral and written components. These assessments would be graded by a rubric, twice for accuracy.
Overall, standardized test need to be reevaluated, or changed to measure students learning abilities more accurately. This could change the system already established like creating a new standard rubric.