Stae-Mandated Testing Essay

Submitted By fifitadzong
Words: 1041
Pages: 5

The debate about state-mandated testing is rather interesting. I find that there are both pros and cons as to the importance or usefulness of theses state-mandated testing.
The disadvantages of these state-mandated testing or assessments are enormous. These are;

• “Its regimen of standard tests seems particularly inappropriate for students who are learning English as a second language and the schools that enroll them”. (room to improve). This does not comply completely with fairness. Students who do not master the English language well will not be able to read, understand or properly answer the questions.
• “Teachers are worried that their income will be tied to how their students score on the tests”. (room to improve). This will affect the way teachers teach. If they believe that the students will not perform well and their salary will be affected, they will not put as much effort in teaching these students.
• “Schools have little incentive to teach gifted students to meet their potential. And the academic measurements for this federal law vary widely from state to state”. (room to improve)
• “Brown (1992, 1993), Romberg, Zarinnia, and Williams (1989), Smith, Edelsky, Draper, Rottenberg, and Cherland (1989), and Smith (1991) contend that state-mandated testing greatly influences teachers and their work, and does so negatively. Drawbacks of state-mandated testing reported were the: 1) narrowing of the curriculum and instruction, 2) fostering of anxiety, confusion, fear, shame, anger, and/or mistrust, 3) deskilling of teachers and/or a perception of powerlessness; 4) the invalidity and inadequacies of these tests as accurate measurements of what is taught and learned; and 5) loss of instructional time due to test preparation and testing.” (Cimbricz S. 2000).
• “Drawing on the same data from his earlier 1992 study, Brown (1993) indicates that teachers reported feeling confused about the purposes of state-mandated testing, perceived themselves as powerless in the face of state-mandated testing policy, mistrusted state education departments and state legislators, questioned the effectiveness of the tests in evaluating student achievement, expressed concern that the test results were overemphasized by those mainly outside the profession (e.g., parents, the media), and did not consider state tests to be an accurate measure of student learning or school accountability.” (Cimbricz S. 2000).
• “Smith notes that teachers' attention to tests "results in a narrowing of possible curriculum and a reduction of teachers' ability to adapt, create, and diverge" (p. 10)” (Cimbricz S. 2000).
• “Smith concludes with the contention that testing ultimately deskills teachers: "Because multiple-choice testing leads to multiple-choice teaching ... the methods that teachers have in their arsenal become reduced, and teaching work is deskilled" (p. 10). (Cimbricz S. 2000).
“schools serving wealthier students usually score higher than other schools, ranking often just compares schools based on community wealth. This practice offers no real help for schools to improve.” (fair test, web).
State-mandated assessment programs affect the way teachers teach. Teachers tend to structure their curriculum in such a way as to focus on what the assessments will test. In so doing instruction becomes narrowed and the aim of education becomes second hand as the teachers are more interested in their students scoring high in the assessments. Also, the school districts and principals put the teachers and students under a lot of stress as they need the students to perform really good during these assessments.
State-mandated data has no positive values. They are not a true representation of student’s hard work and determination. Students and teachers spend countless hours on studying and preparing for the tests. Also students do not have the same access to good education and so are not given the same preparation necessary for these exams. The exams or assessments