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The effects that standardized tests have on america's students - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Course Date The effects of standardized tests on America’s students Equality is a term used in everyday life by people. Christianity, Islam and Jewish religion that form the three major religions on earth also recognize the need for equality…
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The effects that standardized tests have on americas students
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Download file to see previous pages Consequently, many people and various organizations have used the term for a long time to advocate for as well as champion for their rights, thereby making the word very powerful. For instance, various women’s suffrage, Civil Rights movements, among others have fought for equality for the human race no matter black or white, male or female, rich or poor just to mention a few. In America, the standards – based educational reform introduced the standardized tests in order to raise America’s standard of achievement in the education sector. This has been part of American education system from the 1800s and its use increased in 2002 after enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) that mandated yearly testing within the 50 states (McMeans 5). According to James Popham, former president of the American Educational Research Association, standardized tests refers to tests administered, scored, and later interpreted in a predetermined and standard manner (Higgins 12). The policy accorded high priority student performance with the aim of increasing student and school performance, thereby preparing American students to compete favorably for opportunities on the international stage. Proponents argue that standardized tests entail a fair as well as objective means of examining student achievement (Phelps 23). This makes schools and teachers more accountable to the taxpayers who are the parents. Therefore, standardized tests promote equality among students ensuring that all Americans pass a given tests in order to move to the next level. Despite the support and recognition given to standardized tests and the equality, it proves ambiguous since logically it is unattainable on earth. This is because when it is pursued beyond excellence or freedom, it can turn out to be very dangerous (Stahlman 242). The dangers of championing for equality beyond excellence are displayed in the story “Harrison Bergeron”, written by Kurt Vonnegut. However, opponents of standardized tests claim that the tests are neither objective nor fair and that their use encourages a narrow curriculum as well as drill like teaching to the test situation (Visone & EdD 95). Moreover, the tests compromise the ability of America to produce critical thinkers and innovators. Vonnegut in his story “Harrison Bergeron” clearly dwells on the theme of the dangers of total equity. He asserts that absolute equality is not a perfect and worth striving for by human beings (Dougherty 176). This is because it is a misguided goal that proves dangerous both in the execution and in its outcome. Therefore, the search for equality above excellence or freedom is very dangerous. This is because application of equality in some situations and in areas that it cannot and should not exist might restrict excellence as well as liberty (Harris, Bruce & Harris 56). This is because in life human beings are not equal in some things and will never be. According to Abraham Lincoln’s speech during the Declaration of Independence, people are not equal in size, colour, moral development, intellect, as well as social capacity (Crossley 2). Therefore, the fact remains that human beings are different in various things, in both physical and mental realms, and thus it is impossible to achieve total equality. Thus, just like in the Vonnegut’s story, standardized tests promote absolute equality. This is dangerous due to several ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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