Factors Against Standardized Testing

In my last article, I discussed the standardized testing that my district just completed. I also discussed how some research suggests that standardized tests are not fair. Other research places great value in standardized tests’ results. In this article, I would like to look at the first opinion of the tests. Why do some say that that standardized tests are not worth the paper it takes to publish them?

One argument against standardized tests is that they assume all children have had the same experiences. While most children in a class can relate to the same type of living, this is not rue for children in all areas of the country. Some test questions are given to students in California as well as students in Tennessee. I can remember on incident on a reading test where the story kept referring to a flat. In my part of the country children do not use the word ‘flat’. We say ‘apartment’. The children were very unfamiliar with this use of the word. Because of their use with a wide variety of children, standardized tests do not take into consideration a child’s origin or background. While most tests are set-up around state standards, vocabulary and word usage are necessarily correlated to specific living areas.

While the format of the questions are changing some, the tests still remain multi-choice with one correct answer. Those who oppose of standardized tests believe that this limits children’s thinking. Children are graded on quick meaningless answers and are not judged on their problem solving ability.

Standardized testing claims to be very objective. However, research against the testing suggests that the actual scoring is the only objective part of the testing because a machine does it. People determine all the test creation, the format, the choices of answers, and how the test is given.

Continue reading tomorrow to find out what else is wrong with standardized testing.

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