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High Stakes Testing Programs by Finbarr Sloane - Article Example

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The following paper “High Stakes Testing Programs by Finbarr Sloane” discusses the issues that can be found in regards to high-stakes testing programs and their effects on the educational futures of students that take these tests and programs…
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High Stakes Testing Programs by Finbarr Sloane
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The issues surround the larger problem, which has to do with whether or not these assessments are appropriate for meeting set standards in a political setting.
The purposes of these assessments are to see how schools rank locally, statewide, and nationally, as well as learning and understanding what the standards of students should be. The aforementioned are the types of tests that will be used, and what the tests will be based on and what should be achieved with them. Prior to concerns being voiced, there used to be just one test that was used internationally; after it becomes clear that not every student or school could meet those standards, multiple tests were created by the state. The No Child Left Behind Law allowed this change to come into play.
In regards to the motivation and morale of students, the article states that these assessment tests allow students to understand what the level of their knowledge is. This can be considered to be both a positive and a negative thing - the students can realize that they knew a little more than they expected, or that they knew less. The downside is that students may feel frustrated if they do not perform well, which will only negatively alter how they perform in a general sense. They can become discouraged and feel more negative towards themselves, lowering their expectations.
One of the biggest controversies surrounding these assessment tests concerns how the tests relate to the curriculum. The students cannot be expected to take an assessment if they have not covered everything within the test. Schools need to stick to the curriculum so that when it is time for students to take the assessments, they are ready and knowledgeable in what the test contains.
A high-stakes test can be defined as a test that shows a student how they are failing. These tests not only show them where their weaknesses and strengths are, but they also allow the student to learn and understand what more there is for them to learn and understand. However, there needs to be more than one type of test if a student is expected to comprehend what they do and do not know and if they are expected to improve on what needs improvement.
In my opinion, students need to be taken into consideration more when these high-stakes tests are being created. Each student is different in the ways that they learn and retain the information they are taught; this is one of the reasons why test results always vary between each individual student. Furthermore, some students have a lower level of knowledge than others, yet they are still required to take the same assessment tests. The No Child Left Behind is faulty in this matter. Students are often discouraged when they do not perform well in school, yet this could be avoided if students were considered more when it comes to them actually taking the tests. Read More
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