The Case for Standardized Tests: how Much of Negative Impact they have for the School Systems

Published: 2021-07-28 16:05:06
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Standardized testing levies the United States approximately 1.2 billion in dollars yearly, and inflicts to students, a tremendous degree of anxiety and stress. Standardized testing has been utilized in the United States for decades because the higher up government officials believed it was an authentic means to test students, they were gravely mistaken. In the article The Value of Standardized Testing Author Gail Gross argues that standardized testing still holds value, benefits schools and students, and it gives teachers insight into the student’s learning, however, Gross fails to mention the negative effects it inflicts amid students, as well as the whole school itself. Standardized testing should be eradicated from public school systems because it affects students negatively, holds unfair advantages, and it pressures teachers to teach to the test.
Firstly, standardized tests, like any weighing and imperative academic exam, demands a substantial degree of studying and preparation. Accompanying this great deal of studying and preparation is the grave amount of negative impacts such as stress, and anxiety. Because of the stress the students deal with due to the intensity and the pressure of the test, it causes them much of an emotional anguish within themselves. Authors Sophie Bethune and Alfie Kohn explore this horrific side of standardized testing, according to a survey taken by the American Psychology Association (APA), Students ranging from 13-17 have reported high levels of stress mostly due to tests such as the SAT and the ACT, american teens report experiences with stress that follow a similar pattern as adults, according to a new survey released today by the American Psychological Association (APA) (Sophie Bethune). Along with the pressure from parents as well as teachers, the performance of students decreases significantly and their fear of failure causes them to feel mentally overwhelmed. The pressure of standardized testing is being inflicted to those that should not even take it. It’s far more worrisome that even students who don’t plan to continue their schooling after high school, and even students who are much too young to be thinking about college are subjected to a barrage of standardized tests that don’t provide much useful information (4 Kohn). Although Gross makes an understandable argument stating standardized testing holds value, Gross does not take into account the mental damage that the test delivers to students.
Secondly, standardized testing has another huge flaw in its grand design, it carries unfair advantages that no given tests should carry. There are companies that construct standardized and these companies also assemble programs and classes which favors the economically privileged that can afford them giving them the advantage when it comes to taking the test. Furthermore, everyone is different, in where they’re from, what they’ve learned before, experiences they’ve had, and the way they learn, however standardized tests treats everyone like they are the same which in this case is unfair. Author Brittany Kokoszka explores the biased aspect of standardized testing. A teacher may do an incredible job explaining material to students, however, if he or she does not have the resources that other schools have, then the students’ educations are compromised (Brittany Kokoszka), not everyone has the same access to resources, some schools may be well funded than other which gives the students in that school the upper hand. Those who are economically privileged can take test classes to improve and build their score whereas not everyone has that same opportunity. By having this opportunity, those kids will most likely receive higher scores and thus possess a significant unfair advantage over others who cannot afford such luxuries (Brittany Kokoszka). Whether a student gets into college should not be determined by their financial status, and this is one of the many big flaws that make standardized testing unfair.
Thirdly, standardized testing not only affects students and their future but teachers and their paychecks as well. In view of the fact that standardized testing is such a crucial deal in The United States, teachers are feeling the pressure by their bosses to heavily focus their curriculum into teaching to the test. Standardized tests are used by school administrators and the public to evaluate students, schools, and teachers. Authors Ronald E. Johnson, Jerrell C. Cassady, and Stephanie Overman go in more depth of this pressure teachers receive and how that affects their students. One of the reasons why teachers are so stressed that they end up teaching to the test is because of the No Child Left Behind Act Legislation like NCLB has raised the stakes for testing, potentially tying student performance to teacher salaries and job stability, and dictating what teachers teach (Overman). Everyone is motivated by money, and teachers are no exceptions, this act forces teachers to believe that their most important job is to prepare the kids for standardized testing and that is what they are being paid for, neglecting to teach basic life skills. Author Gross argues that standardized testing is a critical measurement of achievement in skills, knowledge, and abilities, however, the way these tests are written, taught, and taken suggests otherwise. This type of pressure that teachers exert on students tremendously impacts them as well (a) comparing self-performance to peers, (b) considering the consequences of failure, (c) low levels of confidence in performance, (d) excessive worry over evaluation, (e) causing sorrow for their parents, (f) feeling unprepared for tests, and (g) loss of self-worth (272 Ronald E. Johnson/Jerrell C. Cassady). Students are not being tested for their level of skills, and their capacity for exerting their knowledge but to choose an answer out of four choices and fill in a blank bubble that ignores the student’s overall knowledge and limits them to only four choices. Overall, standardized testing not only messes with students but threatens and controls teachers as well. Standardized testing causes students to know and retain things they don’t have the necessity for and, acquire a skill set that is essentially idle and useless when it comes to real life and its problem.
Consequently, a proposed solution consists of school boards around the nation should boycott against the use of standardized testing, as well as using the student’s scores to judge schools, teachers, and students which only makes matters worse. The people should all sign a petition for a standardized test free nation, Canada has done it, The United States, shouldn’t fall behind. A new type of examination should be developed as a better alternative to this flawed design, an examination supported by research to prove effective.
In conclusion, standardized testing has been utilized long enough and needs to be eradicated. Although, Gross, made excellent points that are understandable, it still does not out weight the tremendous amount of negative impacts. Standardized testing clearly does more harm to a student than the good Gross claims it does. Standardized testing causes students to be negatively impacted, teachers to feel the pressure to teach to the test and, it holds the unfair advantages that students shouldn’t have to deal with.

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