Cons Of Standardized Testing

Words: 2099
Pages: 9

The Standardized Testing Epidemic in America Today

Standardized tests have commandeered the national education system in the United States. In the past 15 years, standardized tests have increased tenfold, and dictate which teachers keep their jobs, which colleges students can attend, and how much money schools and their districts are allocated. Standardized tests have cemented themselves as the one-size-fits-all evaluation and reflection of the quality of students, teachers, schools, and districts. Evaluating the quality of students, educators, and education systems this way is wrong in a world where not everything can be boiled down to single quantitative values; the constant rising frequency and weight of the results of these tests needs
…show more content…
A study published by the Brookings Institution found that 50 to 80% of year-over-year test score improvements were temporary and "caused by fluctuations that had nothing to do with long-term changes in learning...". The increased standardized testing has also not improved our student achievement. Since 2001, when No Child Left Behind passed into law, the United States has seen an overall decline in education ranking according to the Program for International Student Achievement. The United States have dropped from 18th to 31st worldwide in math with a similar decline in science. As they are structured and evaluated right now, standardized tests are not good predictors of college success, good teacher evaluators, or helpful for forming curricula. Teachers are forced to ‘teach to the test’ instead of teaching what would be most helpful for the students in college and the real world; the teachers’ job security and evaluation is heavily influenced by their students’ performance on standardized tests. One public school teacher, Tawn Spicklemire, said, “My current school is high-performing, so the overall curriculum is not terribly dependent on subjects covered on standardized tests… I would add that this is not the case at all schools. At the last school where I worked, test preparation formed the core of the curriculum. Students were schooled and drilled almost exclusively on math, reading and writing. Teachers met weekly to discuss which of the "ISTEP standards" would be the next curricular focus. Students did not receive instruction in science or social studies until after ISTEP in the spring unless they were in a grade that would be tested on one of those subjects on ISTEP. Students were not allowed to take field trips until after ISTEP in the spring.” This shows