Standardized Testing Essay Sample

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Why Standardized Testing Should Not Be A Graduation Requirement Standardized testing has been apart of American education since the mid­1800s. U.S. students have slipped in performance from 18th in the world in math in 2000 to 31st place in 2009. Failure in the education system have been blamed on rising poverty levels, teacher quality, and increasingly on the pervasive use of standardized testing. Standardized testing should not be a graduation requirement because testing has not improved student achievement, excessive testing may teach students to be good at test taking, but does not prepare them for productive adult lives, and it causes severe stress in young students. Standardized testing has not improved student achievement. After the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2002, U.S. students have slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment down to 31st pace in 2009, with a drop also in science but no change in reading.

Many students are not good at test taking and receive lower than a two on NECAPS. Getting at least a two on standardized tests passes you in order to get a diploma. On May 26, 2011, National Research Council report found no evidence test­based incentive programs are working: “Despite using them for several decades, policymakers and educators do not yet know how to use test­based incentives to consistently generate positive effects on achievement and to improve education. In 2011, Rhode Island Department of Education reported a graduation rate of 58.1%. 17% of those students achieved higher than a 1 on the math section of the NECAP last year. Graduation rate for these students will be nearly 3.5 times lower.

Excessive testing may teach students to be good at test taking, but does not prepare them for productive adult lives. Standardized tests measure only a small portion of what makes education meaningful. According to late education researcher Gerald W. Bracey, PhD, “qualities that standardized tests cannot measure include creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity…” Economically, students without diplomas earn an average of nearly 40% less than students who have a diploma. Students without a diploma have an average national unemployment rate at 12.5%, which is 50% higher than the unemployment rate of students with diplomas.

Jiang Xueqin, Deputy Principal of Peking University High School, explains, “Chinese schools are very good at preparing their students for standardized tests. For that reason, they fail to prepare them for higher education and the knowledge economy.” Standardized testing causes severe stress in younger students. What makes standardized testing extremely stressful? We, the students, have a set time to finish the test, the instructions are confusing, and the readings, questions and equations are complicated. Acc

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