The educational Institutes, authorities are still following the standardized and rudimentary testing methods for the students of Elementary, Middle School, Secondary and Tertiary Schools. They need to be reformed with immediate effect. The standardized testing methods raise many questions about the future of the young students. Studies reveal the damages done so far. The Educators, Parents, and the Politicians must discuss this issue and reform the testing methods.
Teaching to the Test
Some Students, Teachers like the concept of ‘Teaching to the Test’. It means, Teaching and Studying in exam point of view. Other people hate this concept. Critics say, this is the reason the Standardized Testing should be reformed. Their argument is reasonable. Some teachers teach the contents only according to the syllabus and they believe it achieves the academic goal. University of Manitoba’s study encourages ‘Curriculum Learning’. The students can study authentic content rather than memorizing and reproducing it.
The Language Bias
Even the brilliant students don’t do well in the inadequate standardized Tests because of their discomfort in English language. They are actually working hard, but their language acquisition ability is different. Even the gifted students score lower than their potential and abilities because of the language barrier.
The Cultural Bias
The controversial New York State Regents Exam query which supports British Imperialism on the African continent, reflect racial bias. For the students out of this milieu cause some issues. The students feel they are marginalized by the contents along their cultural, racial and ethnic line. So, perform badly than their colleagues. This may end-up in self fulfilling prophecy model. The undermined students expectations become low.
The learning disability Bias
The students with learning disabilities should be given taken additional care. The learning disabilities nothing to do with their intelligence. They must be diagnosed and treated properly. They need medical attention. If they are marginalized, they perform poorly in the standardized tests. The admission office wants the SAT and ACT score to select the students. They are concerned about the scores of irrelevant subjects. For example they look at the Maths score for the Arts student. Fortunately, the Deans like Tuft’s Robert Sternberg realizes this narrow approach isolates talented, promising students. Instead of the restrictive approach the school gives creative essays, designs and innovations.
The brilliant students need not worry about the marginalization along cultural, linguistic lines. Even if their scores in the standardized tests are low their potential is high. The test score are lower than they deserve. A stressed, anxious test subject is not really a successful. These factors beyond students control negatively compromise the student’s future.
Underprivileged Schools End up Even more underfunded
President Obama brought the No Child left Act to uplift the underprivileged schools. According to this act, the schools perform well receives more federal funds. It is a wonderful idea. But, the underprivileged schools failed to perform better, and ended up in lower funds.
The Creativity and Critical Thinking is diminished
The ‘Teaching to the Test’ ideology and standardized Testing encourages memorizing the content and diminishes student’s creativity and critical thinking abilities. If a student can memorize the content thoroughly and reproduce it, it doesn’t mean he/she can apply his /her knowledge in real time situation effectively. Thus, the standardized testing cannot measure the student’s abilities.
Cheating Schools gain the Advantage
The Atlanta Public School, according to Publication time, holds record of Americas most fraudulent institution. They conducted the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, a standardized Test. Around 178 participants altered the scores and the questions. Investigators say there are dozens of cheating institutes like this. The standardized testing encourages such education-criminal behavior.
Lower Graduation Rates
Thousands of students drop-out of high schools every year. It is because of the biased standardized exams. The rigid class room structure increase the pressure, stress and encourages drop outs of the students. They encourage only the mass exodus of students trough the ‘Teaching to the Test’ approach. Thus it lowers the graduation.
The Drop outs fill the Prison
The high drop out rate leads to increase the crime rate and the drop outs end up in the jails. The schools prefer the low performers to leave, because they lower the funding of schools from the government. Thus the low performers end up in jails.
The grading errors in the standardized exams causes the student drop outs.