EQ Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America?
BACKGROUND: Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800s. After 2002’s no child left behind act there has been annual testing in all fifty states. US students have dropped 18th place in math to 31st place between the years 2000 and 2009, and there was a similar decline in science and no change in reading. Due to the failures of the education system it has been blamed for the increase in poverty levels, teacher quality, tenure policies, and increasingly on the pervasive use of standardized tests. Proponents for standardized tests say that the tests are fair and objective. They also say that students and parents approve testing. Opponents of testing say that the tests are neither fair nor objective. They also say that testing undermines Americans’ ability to develop innovators and critical thinkers.
CLAIM: Standardized tests show student improvement so we should not get rid of them, but they also should not do tests annually because it undermines students. I think we should have standardized tests every few years because testing every year undermines students.
Support: Having standardized tests causes teachers to try and teach everything on the test because they want to their students do good. Teaching to the test is a bad method of teaching because the students are just learning what their teachers think will be on the test and not the more important things. Teaching to the test also causes teachers to rush through all the material and explain the material more discretely. This causes students to misunderstand some information and not learn the stuff they need to learn.