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Is standardized testing necessary primarily for primary school students in the United States?

 

Introduction

Standardized tests require every participant or candidate to provide answers to similar questions. The purpose of these tests is to ensure a consistent and standardized manner of responding to questions. This research seeks to address the question on whether standardized testing is necessity for the primary school students in the US. Since these tests are extracted from a certain subject area, teachers and students are unable to cover all the subject areas in the syllabus. The aim of standardized tests is to compare relative performance of students.  This essay will justify why standardized testing is not necessary for primary school students in the United States.

The listed sources are useful for this research because they expose loopholes that should be addressed before making standardized testing necessary for U.S. primary schools.  Kevin Finneran’s Testy about Testing emphasizes on the equality of administering standardized testing regardless of a student’s background. Moreover, standardized testing has been the basis of discriminating against minorities in the U.S.  However, standardized testing is believed to help in orienting minorities to the U.S.  Education system. Glovin and Evans’ Standard Error point out the dominance of standardized tests in different learning levels.  The inconsistency and inequality in administering standardized tests result in standard error when measuring student performance.  However, standardized testing helps students to gain proficiency in a specific area of study.

Hawley Willis’ NCLB and Continuous School Improvement argues that standardized tests segregate low achieving students and high poverty areas.  Standardized tests encourage inequality and cause inefficiency in the education system.  However, these tests require proficient students to represent the rest who may get low scores due to unpreparedness. David Hursh’s Exacerbating Inequality pinpoints the inconsistencies in administering standardized tests. He notes that some students are left behind while others especially from privileged families are included due to the belief that they are well prepared compared to their underprivileged counterparts. However, standardized testing is administered to gauge a school’s or student’s performance hence the best are chosen to represent the others.

Mary Kennedy’s Sorting Out Teacher Quality entails stressful teaching conditions arising from standardized testing. Teachers are coerced to work towards achieving an ultimate score. However, standardized test gives teachers the mandate to guide students on the expectations of the test in order to prevent failure. Alfie Kohn’s The case against standardized testing: Raising the scores, ruining the schools suggests the essence of exercising prudence while administering standardized tests to avert bias.  The bias arises from the use of standardized tests in structuring teaching methods, student learning and educational policies. However, standardized tests are reliable in allowing students to familiarize with what they will expect and is administered procedurally after a teacher’s assessment of the tested areas is complete.

Thomas Misco’s Was That a Result of My Teaching asserts that educational settings vary owing to the different learning environments that students are exposed. Therefore, the tests should only measure student performance without necessarily comparing the scores. However, the comparison of scores enables teachers and students to recognize their weak areas and focus on them for improvement. Smolin and Clayton’s Standardized Testing: How Prepared Are We emphasizes on consistency in standardized testing to enhance the comparison of results.  They argue that the inability to prepare students on the provided test areas results in failure hence the need for increased teacher engagement. However, teaching schedules are interfered with as they cannot teach all that is expected of the student but rather what is provided for testing.

The sources are credible enough for use in this research owing to the specialization of authors on the implications of standardized testing in U.S primary schools. Moreover, they are all scholarly, which I found in the proQuest database. The sources do not pose any problems as they provide accurate and significant information that align with the research topic. There will be no additional materials needed since the sources already cover the varied limitations of standardized testing in primary schools.

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