The Good and the Bad of Testing Standards (by Jessica Urbina)

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We all know that testing makes up a big part of how a public school are funded and at times the testing difficulty can impact the average scores of each school. When the testing standard is different in each state, some having test that are more difficult than in other, it may not show a fair image for how well as school is doing when compared to others. In my opinion I think that it would be a good idea to have a set standard for every state and school. I do understand that each state may have a different range of students and that they might have different resources, but if the standards are not set high then students may never get to the educational point that they need to achieve before high school or college. If there are students that are in a higher range, then maybe those students could participate in programs that offer accelerated classes to keep their minds engaged. That would be an example of a con for having common core education standards within each state. The bar might be set a bit low for particular students, but I believe having high standards will be more beneficial in the long run than having low standards.

It might seem as unfair to some schools, especially those that may be less funded already with students that are already falling behind, but maybe it could be a wake up call for the staff to help and encourage the students to try harder and learn more. Students are not “less smart” because of where they live, but they may be less interested in their grades and education depending of their home environment. Which is why after school clubs and tutoring programs are so essential to public education.

As for a positive aspect to common core testing, it will help school aim higher and be able to be compared to other states fairly. Because if there was no core testing and some states gave test that were less difficult than others, than comparing those with one another would not give the right view of the schools capabilities.

Some questions that would be great to consider would be:
How would the graduations rates change if students entering high school were all at the required math, english and reading levels? If there were no common core education standards set, how would that affect students who move from state to state various times from k-12?

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4 thoughts on “The Good and the Bad of Testing Standards (by Jessica Urbina)

  1. Hi Jessica,

    I think having accommodations for students who perform above the required standard is a good idea. It is important that each student has quality education that is challenging enough to fit the student’s needs. I also agree that it seems unfair that a student’s education will vary depending on their location. Many students choose to go to college out of state or choose to move and work out of state after college. Having national standards for schools can help make sure that students learned the necessary materials prior to moving to a different state, as opposed to moving to a different state that has higher standards and not being prepared. I also think that when schools are having trouble meeting the standards, they should receive the funding and resources necessary to help improve their scores, as opposed to granting all the funding to schools who have the highest test scores.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jasmine. And I agree with it all, if seems like the set ups has been rigged, to where those that are already receiving all of the funding are getting even more funding. While the schools that are struggling and working hard are not seeing any fruit from their labour. The rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer. It would be such a different world if each state had the same testing standards and maybe even testing curriculum.

      For example in Latin America, students are advanced to each grade if they pass it, making children at very young ages work hard to get to the next level (light how nigh school works here). While here students from k-8 are passed along, even if they have not learned a thing, these are the ones that end up struggling to graduate high school the most.

  2. Jessica,

    I disagree that pulling funding from schools is an appropriate tactic in order for teachers to receive a “wake up call.” In my experience, working with educators on a daily basis, I would say they are some of the most caring, encouraging, empathetic and compassionate people I know. I don’t think that test scores reflect how smart a child is or how well their teacher is teaching the materials to them. The students in the classroom I work in come from all backgrounds and experiences, they are not all at the same proficiency levels in math and language arts. That’s not to say that they don’t all have the potential to be but I think it’s important to point out, they don’t all have the same support at home. Today I saw a child about the age of 6 standing with her parents on a street corner holding a sign stating that anything helps, that child wasn’t sitting at a dinner tables with her parents on a Sunday night, eating a warm meal and getting ready to finish her homework. Life outside of the classroom greatly impacts a child’s performance inside the classroom. Pulling funding from a school only causes further disparity for these children. I agree with Jasmine on this one, schools who are struggling to meet standards should be receiving funding to provide them with additional resources to better serve their population of students. Schools who have high test scores are likely to also come from a higher demographic and already have money, resources and support in order to create a successful learning environment.

    • Hi Char, I appreciate your comment. I do want to clarify I never meant got my post to seem that I was for schools getting funding taken away, what is was trying to say on that second paragraph was that setting the standards high, for some of the schools might not be as fair, for the exact same reasons you gave, their home and neighborhood environment might not all be the same. These students would be the ones that might struggle the most, as they probably have bigger worries than a math/reading/writing or other test.

      I agree with you that not funding those schools only makes matters worse. These schools are the ones that need the most funding and the students the ones that need the greatest educational resources. They need art and music programs to help them experience a variety of types of learning. Like I said go Jasmine’s comment, these are the programs and classes that many might not have access to at home. They also need a safe playground and working computers, especially as they grow olde and need the technological skills to write papers and create power points. I truly hope and wish that one day education will become equal, that “No child left behind” will be a true at every state.

      Thank you for sharing!

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