Proponents of standardized tests argue
that it is the most efficient way to measure students’ performance and teachers’
effectiveness. They assert that standardized test is accountable, analytical,
structured, and objective. One of the greatest benefits
of standardized test is that teachers, schools, and people who are related to
education system are responsible for teaching
students what they are required to know for these standardized tests. This is mostly because students’ scores remain as public
record and it can be used as mean to compare teachers’ and schools’ effectiveness.
In a similar context, standardized test allows test
data from New York to be compared to scores in Los Angeles and, the most of
time, it is developed by academic experts so each question undergoes an intense
process to ensure its validity. There are the most appealling reasons
that many states have adopted standardized test. In
addition, establishing standards or an instructional framework is necessary in order to follow the standardized test.
Thus, it may help teachers to deliver large amount of information in a
relatively short period of time. Lastly, standardized test is objective since there
is little chance that bias would affect the scoring (Meador, 2017).
just as coins have both sides, there are also disadvantages of standardized test.
Opponents of standardized testing contend that it is inflexible, a waste of
time, impossible to measure real progress, stressful, and political (Meador, 2017).
They assert that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot assess unique individuals
because it is too fixated. For example, an outstanding student may not perform
well on the standardized test because he/she is not use to the format. Moreover,
standardized tests prevent both students and teachers from being creative since
standardized test force them to spend time on material that
will appear on the test. Although learning is an ongoing process
and the process is as important as the outcome, standardized tests tend to
focus only on students’ outcome rather than students’ progress and proficiency
over time. In other words, standardized test don’t provide any information
about how much the student has gotten better. At last, the
atmosphere of the classroom is influenced not only by students but also by
teacher. So, if teacher is stressed,
it may affect the quality of the lecture. However, teachers
and students alike feel test stress. For educators, poor student performance
may result in a loss of funding and teachers being fired. (Meador, 2017).
I don’t believe that “high-stakes”
tests are helpful to society overall because it may undermine the value of education.
The purpose of education should be considered first. Many people may not agree,
but I support John Dewey’s saying that “Education is not preparation for life,
education is life itself.” Though, education is not means but a purpose itself,
many people treat education as a means of getting things like diploma, passing
test, college acceptance, salary increase, and so on. Sometime high-stakes test
confuses the reason for being educated. Occasionally, students are not studying
to learn but either to pass the exam or to gain good grade on exam. In short,
high-stakes tests can cause goal displacement of education.