Standardized Testing

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Standardized Testing


In this paper we try to explore the concept of Standardized testing in American Schools. In this paper we try to focus what are the reasons that thinning the learning skills of the individual. Finally paper concludes with the result that the results of standardized testing in American Schools are greatly diminishing our individual learning skills and ultimately harming our youth. These tests are targeted to accomplish a goal as a whole unit rather than focus on a goal of learning as an individual.

Standardized testing in American Schools


Standardized tests have been an integral part of the American education system since the mid-19th century. Current examples of standardized tests include the Stanford Achievement Test, which is used to assess students in K-12; the ACT college entrance examination; and the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is used to license physicians. These tests are characterized by the uniformity of the content, administration conditions, and scoring. Though this form of assessment has been subject to changes, one aspect of educational standardized testing that has remained constant throughout the course of its history is its ability to remain at the center of controversy and debate.


The role, effectiveness, and intent of standardized testing have always been questioned—whether an instrument attempts to assess student competency or potential or to measure effectiveness of instruction and administration, especially when connected to a reform effort.

Purposes of Testing

In education, the goal of standardized testing is to provide accurate information about students in order to make well-informed decisions. Results from tests have served multiple purposes, such as guiding instruction, meeting accountability demands, promoting equity, and increasing efficiency. Interwoven with these purposes is the use of standardized tests as instruments of reform.

Guiding Instruction

A major purpose of testing in education is the improvement of student knowledge and achievement. To achieve this purpose, states often develop standardized tests to measure student achievement of subject-area learning goals, typically referred to as curriculum standards. States develop curriculum standards to serve as frameworks to guide teachers in planning classroom instruction. These standards then guide the design of the state tests. In turn, the state tests provide information about student achievement of the curriculum standards and the need for instructional reform.


Taxpayer expenditures for public education contribute to a demand for accountability. Often legislators and state and district educational agencies rely on standardized testing for gauging school success. Test data contribute to policy-making decisions that target reform, such as retention/promotion of students, pay raises for teachers, and the reassignment of administrators.


Historically, both egalitarians and eugenicists, whose philosophies are polar opposites, have looked to standardized tests as instruments of reform. Advocates of eugenics hoped to use standardized tests as a means to classify people with lower intelligence and to use selective breeding to gradually eliminate those with mental challenges. On the other hand, egalitarians hoped that standardized tests, such as the SAT, would level the playing field in admissions to higher education and open the gates to all students regardless of family legacy or the quality of ...
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