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Stnadardized Testing: Good Or Bad? Essay

2743 words - 11 pages

Standardized Testing: Good or Bad?
Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge. We all crave knowledge, we all learn new things every day, and we all make decisions based on our knowledge. It comes to no surprise that a major part of our lives is education, from pre-k to graduate school. Being successful in our education consists of hard work, a little luck, and now, more importantly than ever, being able to pass exams. Tests are one of the only ways to see how well we understand a subject and in many instances, can either make you or break you. Testing, however, should be based on the individual, where differences in the way students learn should be taken ...view middle of the document...

Although in today’s educational system, students do take the same tests, these tests are not fair because not every student is the same, and having them take the same test discriminates against certain students, and it makes education suffer. Having a “one size fits all” approach to education is not correct (Hobart 2008). For this reason alone, standardized testing in its current state today should not be implemented, and it should not be such a huge part of a student’s education. One particular group of students who are negatively affected by standardized tests is English Language Learners, or ELLs (Menken 2008). ELLs are students who do not speak English as their first language, and according to Clewell (2007), they are the most rapidly growing population in U.S. schools. These students enter our schools, and are not only forced to have to relearn material and learn English, which are already two huge obstacles, they are forced to take standardized tests, which are in English, which they must pass to do well in school and advance. Almost all states require students to pass exit exams in reading/language arts in English, and those that cannot pass these exams, regardless of grades or academic standing, cannot graduate (Menken 2008). These tests make it very difficult for an ELL student to graduate in four years, or at all, because although they are on par with other students in terms of grades and understanding of other subjects, because they cannot pass these English exams, they cannot graduate. According to Menken (2008), this single test score will override institutions of higher education’s assessment of the student’s college readiness, which has led to a huge increase in the dropout rate. Another group of students who are negatively influenced by standardized tests are homeschooled students. Homeschoolers are much different than traditional students because they dig deeply into a subject; they have a good grasp on the concepts, instead of just memorizing details (Bittner 2010). According to Bittner (2010), standardized tests only measures memorization and facts, not concepts, and since homeschooled children learn by knowing concepts, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to taking standardized tests. Since homeschoolers are taught by their parents, standardized tests are unfair because not only does it test memorization, but also because what the parents teach their children might not necessarily be what is tested on, and that is simply unfair. Standards for homeschoolers are much higher than any other students, for example, if a homeschooler does badly on one standardized test, he/she can be forced into a public school (Bittner 2010). For standardized testing to be an adequate way to test students and to help education, it must be as fair as possible to all students, and as of now, it has been shown to be very unfair.
There are however, other views that say that standardized testing, in fact, makes education fairer to everyone. For...

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