Helpful or Harmful: Standardized Testing

Essay by MoodykatCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2014

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Davis 1

Ericka Davis

Nishi Shah-Williams

English 100

4 December 2013

Standardized Testing: Helpful or Harmful for American Youth

I would like to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of standardized testing for primary school children. I support standardized tests that are created based on each school or districts standards. Not all students learn at the same rate or in the same manner. I do feel that testing is one of the easiest methods of tracking how teachers are doing in the classrooms but at what cost the children. Some children who are excellent students freeze up and perform poorly during testing just as students who are sometimes seen as slackers do great when under pressure. Therefore, no one is actually getting accurate data.

Supporters argue that standardized tests are a fair and impartial way to measure students' abilities as a whole compared to their peers. It also ensures teachers and schools are accountable to taxpayers, and that the most important voters - parents and students - approve of testing.

Opponents say the tests are neither fair nor objective, that their use promotes a narrow minded curriculum and drill-like "teaching to the test," and that excessive testing undermines America's ability to produce innovators and critical thinkers. Studies have also shown that standardized tests can not accurately measure academic capabilities because racial and gender stereotypes interfere with the intellectual functioning of those taking the tests.


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