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Does Standardized Testing Work - Research Paper Example

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Standardized Tests: An Obstacle In The Path Of Quality Education Introduction In today’s competitive world, testing has become a common method to assess competence level in human beings. Right from getting admission in schools to getting a job, one has to pass through different tests measuring different aspects of personality…
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Does Standardized Testing Work
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Download file to see previous pages Different studies have revealed that ‘standardized tests’ are bias in nature as they are favorable for students coming from affluent family background. A ‘standardized test’ is called ‘standardized’ because it is assumed that it treats every student equally and gives everyone an equal opportunity to do well in the tests. The foundation of the ‘standardized tests’ is the fair and equal opportunity to everyone. However, with bias in its design, the foundation of standardized test has proved to be extremely weak and hence, the standardized test fails to work. The nature of standardized tests The intention of ‘standardized tests’ is to measure the learning curve and the academic progress of students. A ‘test’ is called ‘standardized’ when it is designed with a ‘standard’ format and is conducted under ‘standard conditions’ (FairTest, 2007, para.2). Hence, students giving standardized tests have to give tests under same test conditions, with same questions and same scoring way (FairTest, 2007, para.2). This assures uniformity and objectivity in testing. Moreover, standardized tests have become a decisive factor in the process of getting admissions in schools and colleges and hence, have become extremely significant in the life of a student (and parents) (FairTest, 2007, para.2). It will not be wrong to say that ‘standardized test’ is a matter of life and ‘death’ as far as the education and professional prospects of students are concerned. Hence, it is natural for educators and parents to expect that ‘standardized test’ is designed in such a way that it measures the ‘natural’ potential of a student and not the superficial skills, which can be improved with the aid of resources available outside the school. However, it has been found that standardized test inclines in favor of students coming from affluent and advantageous family backgrounds and hence, proves fatal to the education system of the country (FairTest, 2007, para.5). Education has a potential to offer unconditional love, understanding, appreciation and unbiased treatment to children. Right education has the power to shape the future of the world by producing intelligent, mature and confident human beings. However, it has been found that the quality of the education is declining due to the effort in winning the race of scoring well in ‘standardized tests’ (Kohn, 2000, para.14). It has been observed that instead of measuring the natural skills like genuine understanding and intelligence, the standardized test measures the temporary skills of acquisition of facts, copying the answers and “skill of test-taking itself” (Kohn, 2000, para.14). Hence, what the tests measure is nothing but superficial skill set which does not contribute in improving the quality of learning and education in any way. Unfortunately, this fact also applies to the tests like SAT, MAT, CAT, CTBS and ITBS. The measurement criteria People have given importance to tests because they think that tests measure the quality of learning, teaching, intelligence and thinking ability. However, it has been found that non-referenced tests like SAT, MAT, CAT, ITBS and CTBS were designed to give ‘ranking’ to the students and not to measure the quali ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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