Who Are We Testing?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Who Are We Testing? For many years, schools have been required to give their students standardized tests.

Elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools have their own specified tests for each grade level. Every student, including students who have mental handicaps and disabilities, are required to take these tests to the best of their ability for the grade level they are in. Even though these tests were developed to help the schools and the students, the quizzes end up causing more trouble then perseverance.

The first reason I believe standardized testing isn't a valid tool for an individual or school is because the grades become the basis for overall funding. The better the students perform on these tests, the more money the government gives to that school, even if the school is financially secure. The biggest problem is that many poorer schools need the funding to educate their students better.

These less fortunate schools also are higher populated with unprivileged pupils.

A writer for The Christian Century, Ronald J. Sider, has made this problem even worse. He believes that by taking away millions of dollars from education each year, a five year test can be given to students to determine which schools deserve the money (804). Instead of wasting these millions of dollars, why not give each school an equal amount of money for educational purposes? Many schools could profit off of this money, making every school better educated overall.

Another reason I believe standardized testing is a waste of time is because the format of the tests don't correlate to the assignments given. Standardized achievement tests should not be used to judge the quality of education because standardized tests cannot account for the considerable curricular diversity in the US. These tests permit meaningful comparisons among students from...

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