Effects of Standardized Tests in School: Critic of Two Research Articles

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1541 Words
Date:  2022-03-14


Have you ever wondered about the effects of standardized tests in school? In the twenty-first century, standardized assessment is the driving force in education. The tests are the principal method to evaluate schools and teachers in America. There are several studies carried out to show the impact of standardized tests on parents, teachers, and students. This method of evaluation has raised several dilemmas depending on whether it is right or wrong. Critics of the standardized tests argue that they provide misleading information on what students understand, cheating, unfair treatment of teachers, less collaboration, biased teaching, and lower-level instruction. However, Torshen notes that tests may create negative effects on students such as anxiety, low self-confidence and lack of self-esteem (Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, 2018). The content areas of the paper will critique the two research articles based on their rationale and purpose, method and general principles, results, conclusions, and discussions. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the effects of standardized tests in assessing students and teachers achievements in schools. This will involve a critique of the two research articles based on their rationale and purpose, method and general principles, results, conclusions, and discussions.

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Tests allow students to work hard in areas that they are not best in. Standardized tests are accurate in measuring students' scores (Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, 2018). The paper will critique two research articles that are scholarly and determine the effects of the use of standardized testing in schools. The first article was conducted by Madaus George, Peter Airasian, and Thomas Kellaghan (2018) and it is titled "The effects of standardized testing." The second one was carried out by Ritt Maddolyn (2016) titled "The impact of high-stakes testing on the learning environment". These experimental researchers fail to differentiate the evaluation based on test results and those derived from other factors such as student's background, learning record, attentiveness, and operatives. Experimental studies of the impacts of standardized testing and other classroom evaluation practices are significant because they aid the teachers and other stakeholders to plan practices that are productive. Parents use student's results on the standardized test to discover their children achievements and intelligence.

Rationale and Purpose

The purpose of the two studies was to determine the effects of sub-standardized tests on students, teachers, and sponsoring organizations. The studies were significant as standardized tests permit educators to make valid interpretations about the information and expertise a student holds or has the ability to possess in terms of what they understand in classes. These tests do not evaluate other abilities of the students and therefore the studies were necessary to determine their effectiveness. The nature of the research study carried out by Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, (2018) was experimental as the investigators try to examine the effects of tests and therefore it followed a specific theoretical model (Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, 2018). Similarly, the research article by Ritt Maddolyn (2016) is significant as it spotted a gap in education which only relies on high-stakes testing to evaluate performance. The two articles aimed to prove whether the standardized method of grading put pressure on teachers, parents, and students as they try to excel in tests and hence affecting the learning environment negatively.

The studies are important to social work because there have been several complaints from teachers and parents that the standardized method of evaluating performance lead to an unbalanced, rigid and narrowed curriculum. Moreover, the studies are significant as they provide a foundation for social workers to develop a curriculum that learning environment and improve students' creativity in other fields of study (Ritt, 2016).

Method and General Procedures

The two research studies used qualitative design in Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, (2018) used the survey method has been used to study the effects of classroom population on the students' performance. These investigators include Torshen, Goslin, Mahler, and Smallenbu among others and hence the procedure was based on other conclusions. The dependent variables include affects students' self-concepts, performance, teachers, and IQ. The independent variable is the standardized test that affects the dependent variables. In both articles, the research hypotheses were well developed as they try to assess the impact of standardized tests on the learning environment or students' performance.

The methodology of the study for Ritt (2016) article is a qualitative design that focused on attaining research perceptions from teachers and other school professionals. The study involved a sample of eight public school professionals in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. These professionals included classroom teachers, principals, special education teachers, school social worker, and English as a second language teacher. Data was collected through face to face interviews that were later recorded in videotapes. The dependent variables include teaching professionals perceptions, students' performances, and social workers perspectives. The independent variable is the high-stakes testing that is administered to evaluate the performance of the students.


In Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, (2018) articles the authors found that most teachers were trained to teach students on how they can excel in their exams. The researcher found a correlation between the standardized test and students learning. There are other interpretations of findings for instance," Goslin found that while less than 40 percent of American teachers have had formal training in tests" (Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, 2018). This can be interpreted as only 0.4 percent of the teachers had formal training in tests. The researchers generalized that teachers regard the standardized tests as accurate measures of students' abilities, achievement, and intelligence. These generalizations can be utilized in other studies of the same topic because they will give similar results.

In Ritt (2016) it was found that half of the 8 public schools supported the use of standardized method as they argued that "about the benefits of testing describing it is a form of accountability that shows how schools are doing and holds teachers accountable in means of teaching the fundamentals of learning" (Ritt, 2016). The results were presented differently: The researcher tested English Language Learners, poor relationship between teachers and students, and the loss of subjects and the narrowing the curriculum.


The research question tries to assess the impact of standardized tests on students and teachers. The research question "What is the Impact of high-stakes testing on the learning environment?" is suitable for this study. The article by Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan (2018) offers detailed theoretical information although all of them lack theoretical evidence and this creates room for more study on the subject. The source presents the information logically by giving real conclusions about the standardized test. The other author used the Ecological-Systems Perspectives theory to explain the relationship between standardized tests and the learning environment. The implications of the study were accurate as research was done extensively. The two articles show a correlation between the standardized test and the students' performance. They indicated that the tests help to improve students' performance in classrooms but they increase pressure and anxiety.

The two research articles used qualitative designs that are associated with a few strengths and limitations. The strengths of this method include participants' freedom where they share information freely and using their own words. Moreover, data is collected from multiple sources making findings more reliable. Madaus, Airasian, and Kellaghan, (2018) used the survey method has been used to study the effects of classroom population on the students' performance. The method is realistic because it uses real population and data is analyzed, regressed and then conclusions are summarized depending on the results. Data is analyzed depending on the research question. The limitations included the use of a small sample size that limits its generalizability. The can researchers overcome the limitation of the problem of limitation by choosing a larger sample to represent the population and therefore he minimizes the limitations. The study used secondary sources of studies that have been carried out on the same topic by different investigators. There were no threats to the validity of the results hence the scale can be 2 out of 10. The study addressed several cultural factors such as race, sexual orientation, gender, and ability. Sexual orientation was the most silent cultural factor for the use by social workers. The researchers should use both qualitative and quantitative methods to make the study more valid. Also, they should choose a big sample size to increase accuracy. The results of the studies can be used to support evidence-based practice by demonstrating that the standardized test has a negative effect on the learning environment because it narrows the curriculum.


The study aims at examining the effects of standardized tests on students, teachers, and examiners and hence the problem is significant. Teachers need to know if test information is the most accurate measure of student achievement. The examiners need to know the abilities of teachers in delivering, and the best way to do this is to find a tool that will measure what the student has been taught. The studies contribute by advancing knowledge on the standardized test and indicate that there exists a correlation between the test information and the learning and self-confidence of the students.


Madaus, George, Peter Airasian, and Thomas Kellaghan. "The effects of standardized testing." The Irish Journal of Education/Iris Eireannach an Oideachais (2018): retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30077184

Ritt, M. (2016). The impact of high-stakes testing on the learning environment. Retrieved from https://sophia.stkate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1660&context=msw_papers

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Effects of Standardized Tests in School: Critic of Two Research Articles. (2022, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/effects-of-standardized-tests-in-school-critic-of-two-research-articles

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