Standardized Tests.

Essay by chisamoreUniversity, Master'sA+, July 2003

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American students are the most tested kids in the world, taking standardized tests every year. Most states measure school's performance by now using standardized tests. As the use of tests increases, so do the protests over how to use standardized testing. The use of these tests is not new to education, however the importance on these established tests is. Many are against annual testing and oppose for a screwed up educational system while supporters see testing as a way to raise standards and make the educational system more accountable. Educators, parents, superintendents, and even government officials take the results of these tests very seriously. These tests are a measure of school competency and can affect a child's placement in school. Scores are analyzed to the smallest degree and rewards are given to commendable schools. Parents even move just to be in the neighborhood with the school that has the best test scores so that their children attend these schools.

Regardless of where teachers' stand on the issue of standardized tests, they all agree that they are a useful tool in accessing students even if it is only a small part of the assessment. The problem isn't what the test assesses; it is what is required of the students and teachers in order to score high on them. Several teachers' feel that by using up most of their class time to prepare for these tests takes away from curriculum of other subjects. In addition, it also takes away their personalization; the teacher loses his or her voice (Magee). "We cannot let them control our lives and the lives of our students. We need to find ways to cope with the demands of the testing environment and still help our students have happy, productive, and satisfying literacy experiences," says teacher, Irene...