Standardized Tests in School

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Standardized Tests: What are They?

  1. According to, "A standardized test is any form of test that (1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that (2) is scored in a 'standard' or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual" ("Standardized Test").

How Did Standardized Testing Originate?

The earliest version of standardized testing began in China for government jobs. They wanted a fair "standard" test to measure the intelligence of the person taking it (Fletcher). After this, more and more standardized tests were being created. Afred Binet went on to invent the IQ test, in 1926 the SAT was founded by a non-profit group of collages, and in 1957 the ACT was developed by a Iowa proffesor named Franklin Lidquist.

What are The Advantages of Standardized Testing?

Some of the most basic positives of standardized tests are that they are that they seem easy to hand out, don't have bias, show student progress, and allow schools to be ranked (Hurst). From afar, standardized testing seems pretty great. So great, in fact, that after the NCLB (No ChIld Left Behind Act) was passed, annual state spending rose from 423 million dollars to 1.1 billion dollars in 2008 (Hurst).

What are the disadvantages of standardized testing?

Among the disadvantages of standardized testing, there are it's effect on students, and on teachers. First of all, many schools rely heavily on student's scores to evaulate their teachers. Virginia and many other states base 40% of their teacher evaulations just on their students academic progress (Walsh). This kind of number results in some teachers and schools even cheating on their scores to be ranked higher, as was the case in El Paso (Porter). The ASA even warned that using VAM, a new teacher evaluation system, could discourage colaberation among teachers ("Teacher Evaluation Shouldn't Rest on Students Test Scores"). This kind of colaberation between teachers are what students need. Childrens education shoudln't rest on competitive teachers, who are more focused on you doing good on some test, rather than if you're actually learning anything.