Despise them or adore them, standardized tests are a significant measure of educational outcome. Either standardized testing measure subject-specific knowledge or the propensity evaluation of scholastic ability, the goal of this approach of evaluation approach is to provide a measurable view that shows the level of students' performance across national or state principles. The proponents or opposes the point of view on the debate to accredit or discredit standardized testing offers the pros and cons of this assessment approach based on the educational outcomes dictated by standardized evaluation methods. Standardized testing receives criticism and upload from educators and psychologists based on the lasting effects this method of students evaluation has making them determine whether or not they are an appropriate measure of educational outcome. The background of standardized testing shows that this method of learner assessment is the oldest aptitude and intelligence measure in the history of education. The initial standardized testing was conducted in Imperial China as a rudimentary form used to evaluate the eligibility for government slots in the ruling class. In the twentieth century, Alfred Binet innovated Stanford Binet Intelligence test that developed into the Intelligence Quotient test and the most recent the Common Core State Standards initiative (Namara 13).
In favor of standardized testing, proponents argue that this method of evaluation helps measure learners' achievement as well as ensuring that schools and teachers are accountable in the provision of consistency in the educational sector (Phelps 2008). Offering learners standardized testing helps to ensure consistency in the assessment of overall making standard tests to act as equalization force to ensure that prospective students are graded in a usual level of grading. Standardized testing measures the students' readiness for transition from one educational level to the next. When learners sit for their end of phase standardized tests like SAT or ACT on their preparedness to join the next level, and intelligence qualification is measured under common evaluation grounds. Again, teacher evaluation helps educational stakeholders to measure the level of teacher competence through students'' academic achievement shown in the performance of the national test.
Opponents against standardized testing practices argue that this method of evaluation limit teaching practices to accustom themselves to the test requirements and expectations are undermining other essential objectives in education like critical thinking and innovation. Checking on the evidence of students' performance has caused teaching to lean on the test objectives thus compelling teachers to teach the test. Curriculum essential content and skills are overlooked when the teacher focuses on ensuring that learners are ready for the outcome level measurable with test performance. The mode of standardized testing in the multiple choice or open-ended format limit leaners to exercise critical thinking skills because they are limited to give specific answers by choosing from offered list especially in multiple-choice tests. Standardized testing approaches ensure high-stakes assessments with too many or excessive testing to get to know students level of competence (Hani 69). Therefore, opponents against standardized tests argue that this method of examination of learners outcome helps to compare the performance of different learners on common ground evaluate the ability and readiness there is indirect and essential significance on learners, teachers, and the educational outcome.
Although, standardized test principles offer educational facilities to figure out and categorize learners' achievement to measure the level of academic ability. Though the testing is not comprehensive to measure the level of learning achievement, it is possible to grade learners with their test achievement to know the level of achievement as evidence of the level of competence. Since standardized testing is comprehensive on education curriculum content, it is important to measure teachers' competence on a wide range of evaluation method that will ensure that the learning standards are maintained and not compromised to ensure that students from all walks of life access equal standards of educational provision (Intschert 126). The impact of standardized testing is not directly shown on students immediately but, the level of achievement is quantifiable rather than learning on ambiguous grounds. Teachers need to come up with strong evaluation measures to evaluate learners outcome yet; they still need to use the standardized testing approaches to have a universal or common assessment of teaching and learning process in different educational levels. Though, the methods applied in the evaluation of students on standardized methods but, some characteristics of students' demography are not featured to ensure fair evaluation because learners are assessed under similar conditions but elements like disabilities, family background, and the first language among other factors overlooked in the conventional testing system.
We cannot wholly discredit standardized tests yet, overreliance on the same does not give us the best we have to offer in the education sector. Although necessary testing provides an adequate assessment of teaching and learning activities, it is impossible to evaluate the unique abilities and skills of talents and extra curriculum of the students. Therefore their dependence in the education system should have leniency in the standardized testing approaches. Criticisms against the limited options offered by standardized tests have an imperfect test which can be considered better than no proof at all (Hani 67).
Liking or hating standardized tests does not answer the probability question on the credibility of fair evaluation. Education stakeholders need to increase their options on standardized testing approaches. Making the testing methods so obvious giving loopholes in the education systems especially when corruption and malpractices are integrated to ensure success in standard tests. Teachers and students collude to engage in examination cheating and other methods of malpractices to have an upper lead in the performance of standardized tests (Rose 25). Although, standardized tests are kept as the best measure of learners' achievement and a measure of teachers' competence the results are not reliable when other learning competencies are not evaluated in a fair trial. Ensuring strict conformity to the outcomes of common examination through cheating and corruption learners who honestly partook their standardized tests are denied fair chances to compete in the available slots for transition options. Therefore overcapitalization on standardized tests needs to be changed by using other competence evaluation methods to integrate assessment levels with other evaluation strategies.
In conclusion, standardized testing approaches seem to give learners an equal chance of evaluation, but the competence of the method raises questions on the accuracy and applicability. Standardized testing measure subject-specific knowledge or the propensity evaluation of performance accredit or discredit standard. Standardized testing receive criticism and upload from educators and psychologists because this method of learner assessment is the oldest aptitude and intelligence measure in the history of education of evaluation helps measure learners' achievement as well as ensuring that schools and teachers are accountable in the provision of consistency in the educational sector. Teacher evaluation helps educational stakeholders to measure the level of teacher competence through students'' academic achievement shown in the performance of the national test. Curriculum essential content and skills are overlooked when the teacher focuses on ensuring that learners are ready for the outcome level measurable with test performance. Proposers and opponents for and against standardized tests argue that this method of examination of learners outcome helps to compare the performance of different learners on common ground evaluate the ability and readiness there is indirect and vital significance on learners, teachers, and the educational outcome.
Phelps, Richard P., The Role and Importance of Standardized Testing in the World of Teaching and Training Paper: 15th Congress of the World Association for Educational Research, Nonpartisan Education Review / Essays, Vol.4, No.3, June 3, 2008.
This article defines standardized testing as the most significant single social contributor to contemporary psychology and evaluation method. The method of evaluation is expansive because it is easy to develop and administer on a large scale though can sometimes be compromised where integrity issues are questionable.
Namara, Michael., Exploring the Impact of Standardized Assessment in the Primary School Classroom, Galway: The National University of Ireland, 2010.
Standardized approaches to learning assessment provide educators with a complementary source of information to evaluate the efficiency of teaching and learning process. The pedagogical accuracy and effectiveness need a standard assessment test that will monitor teachers' level of content delivery through assessment of what learners achieve in their standardized testing.
Intschert, Nicole., The Downside of Standardized testing, Policy brief: Partnership for the Public Good, December 9, 2013.
The article explores the No Child Left behind Act on the policy brief on the general recommendation of the United States on the repercussions of standardized testing. Learners should be offered similar conditions to answer the same questions that are either open-ended or multiple choices as a standardized testing approach. However, the policy brief gives a wide array of drawbacks that fail to be achieved by this method of learner evaluation because it overlooks the skills and potential gained by learners throughout the learning process.
Hani Morgan (2016) Relying on High-Stakes Standardized Tests to Evaluate Schools and Teachers: A Bad Idea, The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues, and Ideas, 89(2), 67-72, DOI: 10.1080/00098655.2016.1156628
This article explores the pros and cons emanating from the standardized testing approach as a measure of learners evaluation. The primary merit of the standard of assessment is the commonness of giving examinable candidates equal chances to show their competence and mastery of learning outcome. However, standardized testing encourages a lot of corruption and examination malpractices and teaching among learners and teachers. Because of the known, the method of evaluation dishonesty is established when different forms of corruption and irregularities are perpetrated to earn advantages over other examinable students be accessing testing materials or common questions before the examination.
Rose, M. 2015. School reform fails the test. The American Scholar, 84 (1): 18-30.
In her article, Rose describes that standardized testing causes teachers to stop delivering the curriculum content to the learners based on the syllabus coverage and start couching them for examination passing. Teaching and learning process becomes examination oriented where learners achievement is single measured through a common testing approach. Teachers' pedagogical skills are regulated through the performance of their learning in standard tests making them capitalize on examination passing rather than focusing on talent and knowledge delivery.
Hani, Morgan., Relying on High-Stakes Standardized Tests to Evaluate Schools and Teachers: A Bad Idea, The Clearing House: A Journal of Educat...
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