Standardized Test- The Correct Way to Measure Students?

o-eindtoets-basisonderwijsIn class we have learned about various issues that can come into effect in schools today. I believe one of the major issues that school systems have today is the use of standardized test. Standardized tests are a common method in which schools use to measure students’ academic achievements. The use of standardized testing is something that can be very problematic more many reasons, such as students don’t all test the same and some would argue that implementing these test only leads teachers to “teach the test”.  My opinion is that there shouldn’t be other ways of testing the students’ academic achievements. I believe if we had other methods that worked together with standardized testing it would help lower the achievement gap. I remember going to school and the teachers from the beginning of the year would start preparing us students for state testing and would be teaching us what would be on the test. I also remember that the teachers didn’t really get to teach much other than really preparing us for these test.

Also now that we have talked a bit about NCLB, I believe its important to note that this act requires the state to asses educational achievement and to allocate resources for standardize testing.  Personally I have really bad test anxiety and I never did well when testing even though I would study and study and study. I always felt that there should be some other way that I and students who have the same anxiety can prove that we know the material well enough. What other techniques do you think should be implemented in school systems to measure students’ achievements? Do you guys believe that having teachers “teach the test” is something useful or should the teachers have more reign on what they can teach and how to teach it? P.S. If you guys click on the picture above it will take you to a website that discusses other issues within the educational system, including standardized testing that I found interesting and thought you would as well.

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8 thoughts on “Standardized Test- The Correct Way to Measure Students?

  1. I help to prepare students for the GED at my community partner and often find myself helping students with testing strategies rather than actually helping them to learn the material. I can remember this same thing happening in high school when we were preparing for standardized testing. I feel like test results are often just a measure of how good students are at taking tests.
    I think there’s a place in education for standardized testing, but it definitely shouldn’t be so heavily relied upon to assess student understanding and teacher/school success. Additionally, with such a strong emphasis on standardized test results forcing teachers to teach to the test, little room is left for innovation and creativity in the classroom.
    This article discusses another form of assessment that could be used called performance-based assessment tasks (PBATs): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/02/an-alternative-to-standardized-testing-for-student-assessment/

    The idea is fairly new to me so I haven’t weighed the pros and cons yet, but at the very least I feel like these would be more effective at allowing students to demonstrate their learning.

    • Rocielle, I totally know what you mean. When I was in school, a huge part of preparing for standardized testing was reviewing methods of choosing the right answer, even if you weren’t sure what it was or didn’t know the material. In this way, I totally agree that a lot of standardized testing is measuring a student’s affinity for tests. I have a friend who is really smart but tended to perform poorly on tests, and this shaped the way she viewed herself, intelligence-wise. I think this is a common occurrence and it makes me sad for the students who think these tests have anything to do with how smart they are or how successful they will be.

  2. I also don’t think standardized testing should be heavily relied upon because not everyone is a great test taker. I known some people who can study days for a test and they end up with not getting the best results, even though they get great grades on other assignments. I think that teachers should teach and be able to prepare you for the test. I remember when I was taking these test in high school, some of the question they would ask I wouldn’t be familiar with because I have never covered it.

    • I agree with you! I find that I have this same problem, there should be other ways to test the student. I think the guest speakers we had in class on Friday had great strategies such as testing the child on the level their at, not necessarily the grade level

  3. I do not think teachers should have to teach to the test. It leaves out so much important information, especially when kids curriculum is being pushed aside to prepare them for standardized testing. I find this very displeasing. It seems logical that an emphasis on a subject will prompt better understanding than a quick surface level, run through. I think the teachers should have more reign. They are the ones with the passions to teach and have made all the important observations about their kids. They know what level every kid is on and they know which ones need more time and help. It seems that they and their team of other professionals are going to be the ones who come up with the most impactful solutions.

  4. Jehadi,

    I really like how you use the term “teach the test” in your post because I think it speaks directly to one of the core problems with standardized testing– that often times they fails to prepare students for thinking beyond the content on the test itself. I can completely relate to your encounters with test anxiety as I have the same problem. One of the reasons I decided to major in English was so that I wouldn’t have to take so many tests. I will write a paper over taking a test any day!

    Also, when the issue of standardized testing comes to mind, I can’t help but think about critical thinking. If a student is given a test question and a list of answers to choose from, how is that testing their ability to analyze a problem or work through it? Even with subjects such as math, where often times there is one correct answer, shouldn’t the student get credit for the work they attempt to do in coming to their final answer? Some might argue that grading a test in this way would take too long and might be too subjective, but I wonder how it would change the outcome of students test scores. Do you think critical thinking and problem solving can be more strongly implemented into standardized testing?

    Thanks for your post,
    Amira

  5. I agree that teachers should not teach according to the test because students are left with out appropriate knowledge about the world around them. They are not encouraged to think critically but are just being spoon fed some random facts that may or may not help them on the test.They are only taught specific facts and often times the tests can be biased.
    I remember when I was in school too I was always taught how to pick the appropriate answer for the test and if I still wasn’t sure about the answer the process of elimination to just pick c. I don’t believe class time should be spent on how to take test, it just cuts into real creative and critical thinking.

  6. When i was in high school, I took some state test where they told me to leave the answer blank if i did not know what the answer was. Most of us have heard of “C-ing your way out”. I found that i did this very often. This meant that students would get a score base on the whole test which could include questions things that they have not gone over yet. I think that allowing students to answer the questions that they know could be a real good way to gauge where they are at.

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