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Standardized Tests and Informal Reading Assessments - Essay Example

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Standardized Testing Testing determines the quality and extent of learning. Testing performs as a measurement and assessment tool in every field, be it sports, academics, extracurricular activities, etc., to assess individuals; individually or against each other…
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Standardized Tests and Informal Reading Assessments
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Download file to see previous pages A standardized test is one that employs a standard method assessment. Such tests include CAT (California Achievement Test), STAR (Standardized Testing And Reporting). These tests are employed to determine if a student is fulfilling certain requirements ordained for his grade, age and intellectual level, and if he does so, he is promoted to the next grade. Some institutions use these tests along with other tools of assessment, while others simply rely on the test scores for assessing a student’s academic performance. Standardized tests are relied upon heavily for assessment purposes; yet there are many benefits as well as upsides associated with them Standardized tests are considered accountability tools for teachers and students (Meador, 2012). The syllabi taught vary from school to school, and also from teacher to teacher. So it is standardized tests that reconcile this gap and ensure that at least a particular guideline is followed regarding teaching and learning (Panday, 2011). By comparing a child’s score with score from other subjects the tests are influential in highlighting the weaknesses and strong sides of a child; at the same time allowing for comparison of a particular subjects score, over time; allowing to infer improvement or (Popham, 1999). Since, these tests are standardized; they allow the scores of students to be compared from school to school or even at a larger scale like states; also allowing for data from social subgroups to be compared (Meador, 2012). Standardized Tests are helpful in testing and Judging a students’ Cognitive abilities and skills (Brassard & Boehm, 2008). Another important feature of standardized tests is that they are completely objective in nature; since, they are marked by computers; they grade every student on same terms and without biases (Meador, 2012). Standardized tests are also criticized by many academic highlighting many upsides in the tests and the assessment they provide. Over and over standardized tests have been criticized as an inaccurate and limited means of assessing a students’ achievement and learning (Fairtest, 2007). Learning cannot be just established through a single measure, it is not uni-dimensional, and requires measurement of dimensions like creativity and ability to learn step-by-step etc. (Panday, 2011). Although standardized tests are capable of assessing a child’s cognitive abilities, yet they need t be culturally and linguistically just in order to do so, but that is not the case with standardized tests in schools, they are too demanding and are not an accurate measure, hence, requiring the use of other assessing mechanisms along with the tests to ensure proper assessment (Brassard & Boehm, 2008). Scores from these tests are considered representing a student’s educational and intellectual capacities, and thus results in their being allocated to inferior educational practices, taking away the opportunity to learn what their fellows will be learning (Weaver, 1995). Standardized tests have also been criticized for leading the curriculum to be exam oriented; only topics covered in the exams are taught and limit the broader coverage and implications of education (Fairtest, 2007). Standardized tests also depict a false impression of being ‘objective’, when the only objectivity they have about them is that they are scored by computers, while their preparing and all the other procedures are carried out by people who belong to some group or the other ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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