The Dark Side of Standardized Testing

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Each year, students take standardized tests. Standardized tests assess a student's performance and inform what the school needs to focus on to increase students' scores. Instead of spending a large amount of time taking standardized tests, it should lessen because standardized tests develop little to no skills to a student's learning, and they are also unfair and unreliable. Students should develop skills that will assist them in the real world because they are the future, and the skills they develop throughout high school will help them prepare for jobs. Even though standardized tests are necessary, students receive little to no skills from them, and they are especially unfair to students who come from low-income families and non-English speaking students, which explains the reason behind their low scores.

All students take the exact test, no matter what a student's background is; however, have states thought about it? Not every single student who lives in the United States can speak fluent English and understand the language completely. This could be one of the reasons English-language learners do not do well on standardized tests. Based on a statistic, it states, ELLs typically perform 20-40 percentage points below other students on statewide assessments (Menken 4). The state has to understand that standardized tests are putting non-English speaking students under pressure due to their low levels of English abilities: to read it, to speak it, and to understand it when written, read, and spoken. Also, if their scores are low, they put pressure on ELL teachers by changing the way how they should teach those students English, so that they can do well and improve their scores on standardized tests. Furthermore, due to their low scores, their scores are being used to make high-stake decisions (Menken 4). Since schools are worried about the money and funds from the government, this supports the idea that ELL students are being put under pressure because schools want them to perform better on standardized tests. Therefore, standardized testing is unfair to non-English speaking students because of their low levels of English skills.

Next, taking standardized tests are just a waste of time!! Most of the time students spent taking standardized tests should have been used for learning in the classroom. Some researchers believe that standardized tests neglect the area of higher-order thinking skills, and those are the skills students will need to develop and skills that will help students in the real world and solve real-world problems (Bhattacharyya et al.). Employers will not care if someone can answer a multiple choice question correctly. They care to know if that person has the skills and experience to meet the expectations of the job and can work collaboratively with other people or independently. So, the time used for testing should have been used to develop beneficial skills, skills that students will need in the future and skills that will assist them along the way, such as collaborative, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Thus, students' time should be used in the classroom to learn and develop skills that will benefit them in the future than using their time to take standardized tests.

When comparing students who come from middle-and high-class families from students who come from low-class families, it is evident that students who come from low-income families perform poorly on standardized tests. This is because most of the questions asked on the test are general knowledge that is gained in most middle-and upper-class homes (Bhattacharyya et al.). Students who come from middle-and high-class families have resources available at home that had already help them prepare for those standardized tests. Compared to students who come from low-class families, they do not have the resources available to them. This means that middle-and high-class students can gain more knowledge and skills than low-income students, which explains why test scores of low-income students are low. Thus, states should start making tests that can assess both low, middle-and high-class students and not leaving low-income students behind because that is just unfair! Consequently, the availability of resources and books at home would affect a student's overall performance on standardized tests and that states should start making tests fair and equal.

States should start to focus less on standardized testing because it harms a student's ability to develop skills that will be necessary in the real world and puts non-English speaking and low-income students behind. Standardized testing is unjust to non-English speaking students due to their low levels of English comprehension and low-income students due to the unavailability of resources at home. Because of their backgrounds, it leaves them behind ones who can understand English well and ones who have resources available. In the end, standardized testing does not help build a student's skills and prepare them for future careers. Therefore, one could clearly see why standardized tests are not worth a portion of students' time.

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The Dark Side of Standardized Testing. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved July 12, 2024 , from

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