Argument Essay Final Draft

3603 words - 15 pages

Standardized Testing: Harmful to Learning
Standardized Testing: Harmful to Learning
Currently impressionable youth are receiving test results that may seem of little consequence to most but to them it says they are not good enough, or smart enough. Many students have received these results and felt the disappointment it can bring not only to their academic life but also how it melts into their self-esteem and self-worth. Even a teacher feeling they have failed there students, being unable to achieve certain marks knowing students will suffer not only academically but also loose funding for programs that they so desperately need or want. These negative connotations along with ...view middle of the document...

Today’s tests are taken annually and compare this year’s group of students from a particular grade to those of the same grade as last years. Instead of focusing on an individual’s ability we are comparing data obtained from prior students to the current ones. These comparisons are meant to create a nationwide accountability, in order to show poor performing schools and create a better adherence the new standards.
If these standards are not met by the school or are found to be subpar there are major consequences that will be implemented by funding cuts or redirection of the students to other schools that meet levels or exceed them which also removes funds from those schools. Interpretation of these test scores however can create a greater issue as they can be interpreted differently than intended by the designers (William, 2010, p.107). With results being open to interpretations the question is what other short comings are being created because of this new testing strategy, and how to make them less open to interpretation and create an actual standard as to how they are measured if results are to be truly standard.
Mandated testing has created some backlash and skepticism as to its appropriateness, and even as to its validity to teaching as a whole by many including teachers. With educators at a disadvantage do to either demographics or improper support they feel left to make a change without the proper help (Zimmerman & Dibenedetto, 2008, p.6).
Impact on Teaching Strategies
Testing becomes a major focus. Moore (1994) found that almost all teachers increased focus on test related content/skills and increased preparation time for tests (p.363). Many teachers changed their lessons and teaching efforts in order to better help students prepare for the actual testing. That being said if testing outcomes are all that matter is it really teaching for success, will the students truly learn and retain the important parts needed for academic life or life in general. In the same study Moore (1994) found that most teachers found the testing of no benefit in their efforts or in students learning (p.363).
EQAO feels testing will help define insufficiencies. Without a measurement of places that are lacking it is impossible to figure out where or why they are occurring. The Education Quality and Accountability Office say “it is in our best interest that students maximize their potential to become active, productive contributors of society.” (Kerns, 2011, p.113) The EQAO believe that standardized testing is the answer to finding the holes and creating an accountability when they are found.
Educators feel it is less helpful then intended. If those teaching and implementing the testing see it as unsuccessful how do you justify the continuation of the practice. Also if the testing is greatly improving our education wouldn’t an increase in test scores such as SAT’s or ACT’s be expected. William’s (2010) study...

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