The Ineffectiveness of Standardized Testing in Elementary Schools

The Effectiveness of Standardized Testing in Elementary Schools

Alex Klein, Jamie Molargik, Lucas Burns

Preambulatory Clauses

  • Whereas the ineffectiveness of standardized testing is hurting students and schools more than it’s helping.

  • Whereas the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act was imposed to help mandate schools to test students to show student improvement, testing scores on the international PISA did not increase.  

  • Whereas the pressure from teachers with the risk of losing their jobs without adequate scores encourages them to cheat as well as narrowing the curriculum. “Absolutely it narrows the curriculum,” said Greg Talberg, agreeing.In Addition, it decreases complex learning and motivates schools to reduce time spent on science, social studies and arts, to spend time on the tested subject like reading and math. Lesa Cain, an elementary school technology teacher, in charge of administering all of her school's testing commented,  “I definitely see teachers spending way too much time on test prep and practice test, when they could be spending time on more open ended lessons where the students are being creative and learning more things,”.

  • Whereas elementary students get over-tested, contributing to the lack of caring and validity. “I think that the kids just really stop caring. They’re over tested. We have three NWEA testings at the beginning of the year, middle of the year and end of the year. On top of that all of the other testing,” Lesa Cain added.

  • Whereas standardized testing starts as young as eight years old, compromising learning at the essential age. “I think elementary education is way more important than high school education,” said Talberg, an educator. Some test used by teachers are simply to evaluate students to help teach them more personally, but the data given from the test are commonly too complex for teacher to use.The government mandated standardized testing shows no aid to younger children's education.

  • Whereas children at younger ages have a much shorter attention span then the high schoolers being given to their college prep test.“I have a lot of students who get nauseous, headaches, nervous, sad, they cry. They say it hurts their eyes, it hurts their head, it just makes them feel sick.They’re, number one staring at a screen for so long, number two very nervous,” Lesa told us about her students. They often will stop caring and test scores will come out inaccurate.

  • Whereas the common online approach for testing can be confusing for younger students. “So, they feel like they’ve clicked on an answer and they dragged it onto the line, and it may be a correct answer but if they don't get it exactly where it needs to be, it bounces off of the line. So they think they got the answer incorrect, because that how they're online games work. So they choose a different answer. So when they finally get answer on the line, it’s not the one they chose. But it stuck on the line,” Lesa Cain commented.

  • Whereas math and reading standardized test only further monopolize sciences and arts, both being decreased in time to make room for math and reading.“If they have to finish a test, they miss out on going a special (the elective classes in elementary school). They're stuck in a computer lab somewhere, finishing a test.”

  • Whereas the teachers receive the data from the test, a lot of them can’t apply it and utilize it in their classrooms. “There's some teachers that use them faithfully, there's some teacher who dont. They don't have time, or they haven't been trained to analyze the data,” Cain continued to add.

  • Whereas the test are uniform in their entirety but students react differently to the testing situation. “The stress is more determined by how students view the test rather than the test itself,” Greg Talberg addressing the mental effect of standardized testing.

  • Whereas Finland’s extremely successful student test scores can be linked to the lower level of poverty in the country, another cause being the prioritising of experienced teachers and interactive learning. ““There's a sense of consistency, in the way to kids are taught and the expectations for them. Kids in Finland see schooling as a lot of hope and motivation,” Greg Talberg attempting to explain Finland’s schools system success.

  • Whereas schools with lacking test scores are restricted future funding, vital resources are taken away, rendering the schools unable to prepare students for future exams, unable to break the cycle. “It’s a way for them to say that teachers aren’t doing their job and that schools are failing. It’s all about the money,” Cain, a dedicated educator explained.

Operative Clauses

  • Therefore be it resolved  to remove or minimize standardized testing from younger grades and solely test higher educational levels, like junior and seniors, to encourage complex learning at the more important and essential basic levels of education.

  • Therefore be it resolved understanding the college presence for long standing ACT and SAT, it seems increasingly rational to reevaluate testing young students for the sole purpose of holding schools accountable for teaching.

  • Therefore be it resolved to proper training and more accessible data analyzing of remaining testing so teachers can utilize and use it to further their students.

 

 

Counter-arguments

  • The accountability of standardized testing in schools is essential to ensuring proper education for students. “There’s a perception that’s there’s a need for schools to be held accountable and the best way to hold schools accountable is to make sure kids are learning and the best way to do that is to test them,” Greg Talberg.

  • Standardized testing at younger ages prepares students for the heavily weighted college prep test later in life.

  • Many standardized testing companies are government programs and have spent time refining their system. “The SAT and ACT have invested many years in calculating their benchmark scores so that they are statistically reliable,” the principal at Howell High school, Jason Schrock says.

Cost and Funding

  • Since we’re removing test from schools, there’s no extra cost to schools.

Reference

Badertscher, Eric, and Heather Newton. "Counterpoint: National Education Standards Overlook Individuals and Local Communities." Points of View Reference Center. EBSCO, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015

Hancock, LynNell. "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian." History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian. SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, Sept. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

"Is the Use of Standardized Test Improving Education in America?" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Witherbee, Amy, and Denise B. Geier. "Point: Standardized Testing Is the Best Way to Establish Education Standards." Points of View Reference Center. EBSCO, 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

Coulson, Andrew J. Cato Handbook for Policymakers. 7th ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

"Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education." Www.nap.edu. Committee on Incentives and Test-based Accountability in Public Education at the National Researcher Council, 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

Martinez, Marcy. "TAKS Test Taking a Bite Out of Budget?" Valley Central. N.p., 29 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.

Olson, Lynn. "Study Questions Reliability Of Single-Year Test-Score Gains." Education Week:. N.p., 23 May 2001. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2001/05/23/37brookings.h20.html>. I used this article to gather information on how standardized test are unreliable measurement of student performance.

Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic, 2010. Print. I used this source to help me research how NCLB test are drastically narrowing the curriculum.

"Shanghai Tops International Test Scores." Www.washingtonpost.com. N.p., 7 Dec. 2010. Web. This cite explained how standardized testing has not improved student achievement.

"Survey Finds Teacher to the Test Has Negative Impact on Use of News in Classrooms: Carnegie-Knight Task Force Urges More Emphasis on Civics Education." Www.knightfoundation.org. N.p., 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. I used this source to help me research how NCLB test are drastically narrowing the curriculum.

Walker, Tim. "PISA 2009: U.S. Students in the Middle of the Pack." Www.neatoday.org. N.p., 7 Dec. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. This cite explained how standardized testing has not improved student achievement.

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Total votes: 46

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