The Problems Associated In The Administration And Scoring Of Standardized Testing
Since Horace Mann’s 1845 invention of the concept, numerous studies have been done to examine the different aspects of standardize-testing. Horace Mann was adamant that student knowledge should be evaluated through written exams, and not oral testing at the end. While this was an effective way to test students, it has led to standardized testing becoming something it was not intended to become. The curriculum and tests are now controlled by the politicians. A standardized test has been almost invented by politicians to fool students. Although standardized testing is a good system of testing, it’s been corrupted and made to be unfair to students.
Carole Gallagher is a contributor to Educational Psychology Review (2003, p. 84-85). Mann observed that Boston’s schoolchildren knew very little when the exam was first conducted (Gallagher and Gallagher, 2003, page 85). Mann concluded that the scholarly oral test was not able to provide the level of knowledge required for a standardized test. Oral testing allows students to memorize only a few sentences. From a teacher’s perspective, this suggests that they understand the material. Mann’s written test required that students learn the material. Standardized testing became the decisive factor in determining whether a student was ready for the next grade level. “Mann proposed additional testing in an effort to ensure that a reliable method could be used to determine which students would be able to transfer to the next academic degree level” (Gallagher. 2003, p. 86). Gallagher (2003, p. 85) continues by comparing this method with Darwin’s theory of survival-of-the-fittest. Gallagher says that student assessment is becoming more complicated due to “Increasingly diverse coursework and subjective teacher opinions” (p. 85). In essence, teachers were eliminating students not prepared for the test by making assessments more complicated. This was in theory the beginning to the demise of standardized tests. Colleges now use the ACT or SAT as a standard for deciding whether to admit a student. These standardized tests have become so important that it is almost an expectation to perform well. Xiaomin Qiu, who is also one of the authors of Global & local Regression Analysis of American College Test (ACT Score for Public Schools in Missouri (2011), explores the reasons that a student may do well or poorly on ACT. Qiu and colleagues (2011), p. 65. Qiu (2011) explains that the above statement can be true provided that it isn’t excessive. Qui (2011) examines “the relationship between test scores, education-related attributes, like valuing learning, attitude towards education, and academic behaviour as well as problem solving skills and interpersonal communication” (pp. 65-66) She concludes that positive personal attributes are associated with academic achievement because they have an effect on how much time and effort students spend studying and schoolwork (Qiu and al., 2011 p.66). Qiu (2011) found that higher scores in the ACT can be attributed largely to more involvement in extracurricular activities. This correlation does not prove causation. Many students aren’t always enthusiastic about school involvement.
The next problem is the student performance on standardized exams. Some schools have the ability to determine whether teachers can be paid more, less, or even fired based on their performance on standardized exams. Although it may be beneficial in some cases, the performance of students on standardized testing can affect the quality of a teacher. Larry Kuehn, contributor to Our Schools/Our Selves (2010) writes that “it’s not an accident that the use of standardized testing results to attack teachers” (p.69). The performance of their students is being used to evaluate teachers. It is often overlooked that students could be the problem, which leads to teachers being blamed.
Low-income schools are a major factor in standardized test scores. Mark Wilson, who is the author of The Revised SAT Score, Its Potential Advantages for Admission of Minority Students To Higher Education (2015), discusses the impact of low-income schools on scores. Numerous studies have shown that there are significant differences between SAT scores and high school grade by race. Wilson (2015) concludes that test scores such as the SAT/ACT can sometimes be split by race. There are also some outliers. Wilson (2015) finds that these variables can often be used to predict the performance of Hispanic and African-American students (p. 6). Dana Goldstein, author of Teacher Wars (2014), discusses the issue in chapter eight. Goldstein (2014), p.169. “Teachers who live in Dallas or Houston scored lower than those who lived in suburban areas on standardized test” (Goldstein 2014, page 169). Although it is not ideal, scores can be affected by demographics.
There are many solutions, but none have succeeded in reducing the weight of standardized exams or improving the education received by low-income schools. Standardized tests should be discarded and quickly forgotten. These tests can be stressful for students trying to prepare and also for teachers whose jobs could be affected by the score. Colleges can accept standardized testing, although it is only a small part of admissions. However, college professors will be able and willing to allow students to take the test. The evaluation of students should take into account what they have learned over the course of the year. However, it should still be interactive and measurable. This problem is not easy to fix. However, students might benefit from evaluating their knowledge through projects and presentations. This will allow them to apply the knowledge in real-world situations that can be used for daily life. A possible solution to the problem of standardized tests is to eliminate the involvement of politicians. This is the sole responsibility of teachers and students. Politicians can’t make the classroom experience better for students or teachers. The student growth is being hampered by standardized testing. If it isn’t addressed, the dependence on test scores will continue to be a problem for students today and future generations.