standardized tests

| June 19, 2015

standardized tests


Paper instructions:

1) Recent problems with standardized tests are best demonstrated in Atlanta, GA where school administrators allegedly changed student answers on standarcized tests in order to bolster scores in areas where the scores were traditionally low. Some argue that these administrators were pressure to show positive growth by higher scores on achievement tests, while others argue that standardized tests still are not a good measure of student learning. What problem areas do you see in standardized testing and what needs to change so that a concerned public can easily measure learning by students?

1a) As you think about this topic, you might want to reflect on your own experience with standardized testing. Have you found that your test results are consistent with your academic achievement? If not, what do you think accounts for the discrepancy? Other questions to ponder as you prepare your response might be: What uses should be made of test results (by teachers, school administrators, parents, the public, colleges, employers, etc.)? Do we put too much weight on test results? Is the pressure to perform likely to lead to other desperate and dishonest tactics like those reported in Atlanta? If you think standardized tests are a poor way to measure performance, what alternative method could serve the same purposes more effectively? If you think standardized tests are a useful tool, how do you defend the tests against criticism?

2) No Child Left Behind was a sweeping piece of legisation meant to aid schools in mandating certain outcomes for student learning. One of the biggest obstacles is incorporating the goals of NCLB without extra funding from federal or state coffers. Is NLCB still a viable plan for public schools? What can be done to make this legislation successful?

3) It is a “fool’s errand” to try to de-magnify the widespread use of social media in pulic schools. Many prominent figures and students see that social media allows students to elevate bullying to a historically different level. Some critics state that aside from the issue of bullying, the public cannot curtail free speech belonging to students. How does bullying and social media demonstrate a new level of bullying? What can be done to protect students from those who would bully students using verbal (written) means of social media? What steps should a concerned public take? Is this issue a problem belonging solely to paents or the schools?

4) One need not look far in the national headlines to find public institutes of education dealing with school shootings. What, in your view, prompts this waive of school violence? What safety measures should schools take and how should money be raised to create these safety measures? What role do teachers and parents play in ensuring the safety of students?


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