Educational assessment is one of the controversial and problematic fields in the educational practice. One way to assess students is through the use of standardized tests. There is little this criterion has done to enable students do well in their final exams, for instance the High School Exit Exam. In fact, the Standardized testing has considerably undermined the whole learning concept among schools. In the current era throughout the world, there has been suggested a move to find out the stated goals of the curriculum and who is accountable for their outcomes. A key component to this move has found that there are inefficiencies from the standardized tests as a measure of students learning and evaluation among schools. A research conducted revealed that, if a curriculum wanted to pursue students excellence in schools, then the adoption of standardized tests would contribute very little to the students success (Lee 16).
The reason cited in this research is that the standardized tests focus assumes an unusually narrow approach to the promotion of excellence. Among is the issue that, standardized tests emphasize only basic ideas in core areas of the curriculum for instance reading, mathematics and science and nothing more. This is particularly limited in the U.S.A., as a result of the requirements of NCLB (Andrew 78).
In all cases of these students’ assessments, these tests do not involve the students in creative study and problem solving. It also does not engage students in skills use and analysis to perform critically reasoning tests. Very minimal in these standardized tests do involve students into meaningful thinking and idea generation. They lack the capacity for meaning factual recall. Apart from idea concerning creativity of students, they lack tests that are also beneficial in areas of child development, for instance honesty, social life and basic life focusing behavior. The worst of it all is that, at the moment, most schools are following this constrained syllabus focus of these tests to continually narrow down their curriculum hence reducing and restricting the quality of learning and educational development (Lee 16).
Teaching the content standards is like teaching to test and it is not a wise idea. Put it differently, if the tests are to measure the level of skills that students are expected to, this means, therefore, that teaching to test is profound idea. The worst is when these tests are not related at any given level to what is being taught; perhaps teachers solely rely on repeated drills that encompass the old questions to prepare students. Standardized tests have proved to waste a great and valuable learning time for students not only in high school, but deny them a chance to proceed to college (Beanie 79).
However, standardized tests have the bright side of it, for instance the time students spend their time preparing for tests, and they often learn valuable skills. The better aspect of these tests is when students learn time managing skills, how to understand passages, following instructions and knowing how and when certain answers can be eliminated. All these are valuable test-taking skills that are of significance to students understanding as they progress through their schools and career paths. Proponents of the standardized tests say that these tests, if well integrated to proper teaching strategies can come with great learning success. Accordingly they say standardized tests are part of instrumental programs; they are not entirely independent. They explain that standardized tests always requires students to demonstrate their skills after learning, especially reading comprehension, to demonstrate the meaning of words in the texts read and pull out facts embodied and try to connect meaning. They say these are skills of a good reader and might be expected in a professional life (Andrew 88).
Standardized tests have been used as a constructivism in school as reflected in the curriculum that greatly eliminates grades in this system. Learning is a process; for this reason, it can be demonstrated in a variety of ways and application. This will eliminate cases where a student’s fail to get admission to college for just falling a point below the standardized limit. Critically, standardized testing does not provide a proper and genuine assessment of the students’ performance. Over and above they do not provide avenues for improvement in schools. They fall behind the fact that some students cannot keep to the requirement of the materials. If, for instance, a student could not pass a class, he/she was kept back to repeat that class. As per now, with the passage of NCLB, teachers have been forced to ensure that the test score for these children remain high in order to keep the schools under operation so that facilities are well utilized (Beanie 79).
Standardized testing in the USA is a “pretty joke”, since not all students who are cut out to proceed to collage, or to take careers relevant to many of their skills that were studied in high schools. For instance, students at a given high school must take a Graduation test before they are permitted to graduate. In this case, they have to pass the test, which normally take a week of time. This time is very significant to a student, in that could be used in their labs or learning entrepreneurial skills that are relevant to their future life (Andrew 90).
Standardized testing has lost the originality out of the schools. This greatly impact the art and music classes, as these classes will be the first to be cut when the test are low which means that the school finally lose the funding. This will go a step further to affect students whose interests are art and music at collage after high school graduation. Other extra curriculums are next on the line to go such as agriculture and entrepreneurship. This affects the other core subjects and classes in a similar manner, where teachers are forced to teach from strict guidelines, as per the requirements of the state, which will see the students prepared for testing. On the same note, fun activities and new materials are often cut from the syllabus, especially from the English department. This is to allow them to focus on the test materials, not in a way where the students are interested. In this case, they are mandated to exclude the classic literature out of the curriculum and instead opt for grammar and composition writing (Beanie 79).
In conclusion, standardized tests are a disservice to the high school graduate of America. According to Pros and Cons of No Child Left behind (2006), these students are forced to learn material that deprives them the research and career development skills. Over and above, they are mandated to learn streamlined material, which have been found to lack the depth and well grounded knowledge that is crucial in their future careers. Lastly, some of these tests have denied most of these students a chance to proceed to college after high school graduation for having fall short of one or two points.