28 February 2014
Standardized tests are designed to enable us to compare the performance of students in a relatively efficient way. This is a controversial issue around the United States because some feel that the test do not show the students’ performance. Is standardized testing the best way to test? Some may argue against and feel “that standardized tests allow administrators, teachers, and parents the opportunity to view solid evidence of the students’ performance, which in turn could lead to curriculum changes”(Banta). I feel that standardized testing is not the best way to test because they do not prove how smart an individual is.
In high school, standardized testing was the main focus in all of my classes after my first year. I came from a school where it was one of the lowest testing schools in the district. Throughout high school, some teachers were not so focused on anything but the tests. It was either you pass or you didn’t. Instead of learning new things, we were too focused on preparing for the End-of-Instruction test and what to expect on it. Coming out of high school, in order for me to graduate, I had to pass four out of seven of the test, two including English II and Algebra I, and two others of any other courses. I was unaware of it until the beginning of my senior year but had no idea on what I passed and what I did not pass.
I sat down with a former teacher of mine name Mrs. Roberts and asked her a few questions about how she felt about standardized testing. Mrs. Roberts stated that it is subjective and depended on the school district and teacher. I asked, “Do you think it is still a good idea to test and teach certain things on the test instead of teaching on what is needed to be taught?” She replied, “I think it is a good idea to a certain distinct, but as far as teaching what is needed to be taught rather than what is on the test is based upon who the teacher is and what is expected from the school district.” I also asked, “So from the time you were in high school to now, has a lot changed? Do you think the curriculum in the classroom is still the same?” She replies with, “Most definitely has it changed since the time I was in school. I’ve been out for a while but just being still apart of the school system; I see a big difference in the way teachers teach from when I was being taught.”
Standardized testing I feel is biased based upon one’s culture. Most are in favor of those who are middle-class, males and live in metropolitan areas, and are biased against females, color, low economic backgrounds, and students who live in rural areas (Kohn). Eliminating bias has showed little to no effort in the last few years. Standardized tests tend to