Education systems and educators throughout the country are experiencing huge amounts of pressure to demonstrate effectiveness. Each state or country use different indicators for this purpose. Unfortunately, most these education indicators which most of the countries use have rendered fault results. Lately, if the standards of education and the results of an individual student is high most people believe that the school. Education system or the student is effective. Further, that if the standard test is too low, then the student, school of education system is ineffective. In either of these cases, because the yardstick used to measure the education standards is wrong, then we are apt to erroneous results.
One of the reasons why the standardized test is still used as a indicator of effectiveness in the education sector is deceptively simple. Educators and education sectors do not understand why this indicator remits wrong and erroneous results (Kelleghan, et al, 2012). A standardized test is an examination based test, where the results of the examinations are predetermined in a standard manner. The standardized test embraces two major tests; the achievement test and aptitude test. It predicts how best students will be performing in subsequent tests (Kelleghan, et al, 2012). Some of the common tests within the standardized test include; ACT and SAT-1. These two types of tests predict how students upon completion of upper school will perform in college.
In the recent past, the country has witnessed an upsurge of protests against the standardized test regime. Some of its critics hold that the test is literally strangling learners especially in public schools (Wiliam, and Dylan, 2010). Calls on the government to adopt another education indicator have gained momentum as most of them urge that the standardized test is worthless. Some of the reasons advanced against this test include; that since the learners are aware that the system is result oriented and that the results obtained determines their future lives, they will do all that is possible to pass the tests (Wiliam, and Dylan, 2010). Some of the extreme decisions that students may make include using and abusing performance drugs and cheating in examinations.
Furthermore, teacher’s and instructor’s contracts depend on their effectiveness. Because the instructors know that student’s scores affects their livelihoods, they also engage in unethical practices such as cheating and assisting students to pass examinations (Zwick, and Rebecca, 2013). Additionally, the standardized test does not provide educational value feedback and the best model of teaching or delivery. The results are usually held at marking and education offices for months before being released to the learners and teachers (Zwick, and Rebecca, 2013). Compounding this problem, the standard quality assurance does not provide means for improving tests obtained in a particular test.
The world is moving toward technological discoveries, innovation and creativity. Unfortunately, the standardized test does not value innovation and creativity. Some of the students write creative answers on the margins of their answer sheets, but the system does not appreciate anything written outside the allowed space (Bhattacharyya, et al, 2013). Additionally, the test does not value diversity. Learners taking the test have different cultural, thinking capacities, language proficiency, family background and experience, which are not catered by this test (Bhattacharyya, et al, 2013). The standardized test treats all these learners as equals and as if they are identical.
Moreover, the standardized test tend to extend privileges to those learners from well to do social-economic background. The companies providing these services, not only do they manufacture the courses, they manufacture test results for rich learners (Graf-Webster, and Erika, 2011). A rich learner is able to employ a special or qualified instructor, who will assist the learners do their assignments (Graf-Webster, and Erika, 2011. For the poor and less fortunate learners, the school lacks even the basics for learning and hence the poor learners do not get the kind of preparation that rich learners are provided with.
Standardized test focus most on the results of the test, and therefore, teachers focus on teaching tests on the expense of developmental learning. Most of the time, learners are taught on how to handle test, pass tests and taking the tests (Graf-Webster, and Erika, 2011. There is no time allocated by the teachers to teach new ideas or concepts. Further, the test system offers an artificial learning environment. Time for learning is strictly allocated, learners do not have time to socialize with other students, and they have no time to use learning tools, ask questions or talk with their colleagues (Graf-Webster, and Erika, 2011. It is a form of prison, which is not supposed to be the case. A good education system should prepare the learners to the real world.
The standardized tests have indeed reduced the potentials of our students, human learning and human experience. A learner may have knowledge in a certain area, but the learner may not receive an additional education to further his interest. Standardized test only provides an artificial and a false security to the teachers, students and parents. That if a student scores well in a particular subject, it is assumed that the student has knowledge in that area, which may not necessary be the case. Students have memorized formulas and tricks necessary to pass these tests. The test only creates losers and winners in our communities and therefore based on the above argument, the standardized tests is worthless.
Bhattacharyya, Sumita, Mary Junot, and Hillary Clark. “Can you hear us? Voices raised against standardized testing by novice teachers.” Creative Education 4.10 (2013): 633.
Graf-Webster, Erika. “Standardized Testing: Good or Bad for Assessment of Teacher Performance, Assessment of the Education System?.” (2011).
Kelleghan, Thomas, George F. Madaus, and Peter W. Airasian. The effects of standardized testing. Vol. 1. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.
Wiliam, Dylan. “Standardized testing and school accountability.” Educational Psychologist 45.2 (2010): 107-122.
Zwick, Rebecca, ed. Rethinking the SAT: The future of standardized testing in university admissions. Routledge, 2013.