The Standardized Testing Monster Essay

Submitted By andrears777
Words: 2102
Pages: 9

Terminating the Test Monster American children are being held hostage in public schools today by a billion dollar destructive monster known as the high stakes standardized achievement tests. These tests have been terrorizing our American students since the 2002 enactment of the No Child Left Behind law initiated by former president, George W. Bush. An angry uproar of parents, educators, and child advocates need to be heard crying out across the nation demanding the release of its children from the greedy clutches of this monster. Known as a nation that protects its children, encourages individuality, and supports the pursuit of dreams, it is time for the American public to end the nightmare era of the high stakes testing. While some individuals believe that these tests are valid indicators of intelligence and give valuable information on student achievement, the exact opposite is true. These monster tests should be eliminated from our public schools because they give inaccurate results of intelligence, discriminate against poorer school districts, and negatively affect the teaching profession and curricula. Standardized achievement tests do not give accurate interpretations of a student’s intelligence at all. Since intelligence is multi-dimensional, there is no way that one test can accurately measure the intelligence level of students; therefore, these tests should never be used as the sole basis of passing or failing students. Yet, that is exactly what is happening in public schools today. “A proper role for standardized tests is that they are one potentially useful source of information” (Hedge 65). These high stake tests should never be the primary source and definitely not the sole source for evaluating a student’s intelligence. These tests should only be used as one look at a student’s level of learning. If used correctly, these tests could be beneficial in showing areas of strengths and weaknesses for each individual student. Individualized plans could then be put in place to help the students improve any subject areas they appear to be weak in. However, this is not happening in our public schools (Flanagan 3). These high stakes tests are being given for the wrong reasons and are typically given towards the ends of the school year. There are absolutely no follow-up benefits for the students and no plans are made to help students on their weaker subject areas (Hedge 65). In essence, these tests are worthless. Furthermore, the high stakes element of these tests make most students extremely anxious. Students know that even though they have made good grades all year long, they still are in danger of being retained in the same grade if they fail the achievement tests. This level of anxiety can affect how the students perform on the tests. Inaccurate results of a student’s true ability levels could be the outcome if a student totally freezes on the test due to anxiety. Peter Henry, a veteran educator is alarmed by the stories he hears of young children so stressed out by these tests that they are unable to sleep, act out aggressively and become emotional wrecks due to the hype surrounding these tests (Henry 51).Why should children be encouraged to study and work hard all year long if their promotion is based on the results of one test given at the end of the year? This is pure insanity. If this is to be the case, why not give these tests at the beginning of the year and allow students who pass them a free-school-year pass. These monster tests must be done away with. If these reasons are not already enough to annilate these tests, add in the facts that these tests may discriminate against non-native English speakers, minority groups, and those with lower socio-economic circumstances. “Tests standardized on mainstream American children are especially not useful in assessing varied ethno cultural groups” (Hedge 66). Those students who are less fluent with the English language may have difficulties even comprehending the