Standardized Zombies: Is standardized testing worth the risk of losing valuable education?

Students are no longer taught to learn, but to test. If you are a good tester however do not quite understand the material that you are being tested over, you will graduate high school based off of your talented guessing. The multiple choice format used on standardized tests is not a legitimate way of testing students. It encourages a simplistic way of thinking.

However, “China has a long tradition of standardized testing and leads the world in educational achievement,” mentioned a source on procon.org. But, the United States and China’s cultures varies greatly. America has always pushed for a creative society, encouraging innovative ideas and individuality. It makes no sense to begin to follow a society who did not derive from the background America did. America has always lagged behind China when it came down to the subjects of math and science. However, America has always been more technologically advanced. If America continues to try to be something it is not, it will begin to lose the uniqueness that puts them on top.

Standardized testing is a false verification of the level of knowledge a student has. Instruction time is being shortened in order for teachers to prepare students for tests. A student may very well be able to tell you the test strategies to use in case they do not understand a question, however they know very little of what they are being tested over. The knowledge students are receiving in American schools is not substantial. It is all surface level knowledge.

One positive thing about standardized testing is that it does not encourage cheating. It is very difficult for a student (or teacher) to go in and change answers on a test. The tests are also not subject to the teacher’s preferences of what she/he believes that the student should know. The state issues tests based on the key things that a child should know in life. But who are they to determine what one should know to have a successful life?

Kids who have real world experiences and understand how to survive are looked upon as “dumb” and as if they will not be successful. After hearing this for so many years of their lives, these “troubled” kids start believing that their abilities are useless, so what is left to do except for drop out?

The question is, who is there to stop them? Who is there to place emphasis on their abilities rather than forcing them into a box of what the world perceives to be “educated” and “smart.” America needs to return back to the place where they recognize everyone’s abilities and uniqueness. That is when this country will begin to make progress and avance.

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