My past two articles have discussed the factors against standardized testing. While it may seem that there are many cons to standardized testing, there are also pros. If standardized testing were all cons, I would hope that it would not still be around.
Many agree that some type of assessment is needed to measure if children are learning the required material. This assessment is not just to test what a child has learned but more what a teacher has taught. It would be very easy to come in and ‘play’ with the students all day. Knowing that there will be evaluation and assessment prevents some of this from occurring. The question is concerning what type of assessment should be used.
Those in favor of standardized testing note that the testing is the best we can get for the money that we put into it. A performance based test is sure to cost more money. A standardized test can be graded by a computer. Essay and critical thinking questions would most likely have to be graded by individuals. This in turn would cost more money.
Because standardized tests are graded by computers, all bias is taken from the grading process. Were an assessment graded by individuals given; there would be allowances for bias and unequal grading. Of course a rubric would be used. However, individuals often interpret things differently. Research in favor of standardized testing over performance based testing discusses other countries where standardized tests are not in use. Kazakhstan uses an oral exam. During the Cultural Revolution, the People’s Republic of China used a non-standardized test to assess the children. Research shows that in most cases, these tests are full of bias.
In my next article, I would like to discuss my views on standardized testing. I hope that you share your thoughts and comments with me!
The No Child Left Behind Act and Special Education