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Standardized Testing Essay Examples

Standardized testing is used practically worldwide for all sorts of various criterion. A

standardized test could be used for getting into a top of the line college, or to see if you meet the

requirements for a job. Such tests include the well known ACTs and SATs. There are many

different ways that standardized tests can be graded. Norm-Referenced, and Criterion-Referenced

forms of grading are just a couple of the types of tests. Tests can also be easily misused and are

often protested.

Often times in order to persue a certain career, before you are employed it is necessary to
see how you rate in comparison to the company?s standards. If you were to, for instance, become
a pizza maker for Pizza Hut, they may give you a test in order to make sure that you make the
pizza according to their standards. In order to be a successful business and keep customers
coming back for more, there has to be an order to the way all things are processed. If a customer
were to come in one day and get a large pepperoni pizza, and there was a certain number of
pepperonis on the pizza, they will expect that to be the same every time. The number of
pepperonis on a pizza is a standard number.

Standard meaning a degree or level of requirement,
excellence, or attainment (www.Dictionary.com). The company may show you how to make all
the types of pizza to the standards that they have preset, then have you make the pizzas they have
shown you the same way. If the standard is eighty pepperonis on a large pizza, then you will be
required to put eighty pepperonis on the pizza. If the standard amount of sauce used on the pizza
is one ladle full, then you would use one ladle full of sauce. Standards are set in stone until later
possible being re-evaluated and changed. Until such an event happens however, standards will
stay the same.

If on a test, you are asked to add two and two together. The answer you attain is always
going to be four, because that is the set standard. Two plus two does not equal five simply
because standards say it does not. Standards are used so that everything stays in order. ?Academic
standards are clear written expectations of what every child should know and be able to do at
specific grade levels. In Wisconsin, the standards were written for English/Language Arts, Math.
Social Studies and Science at the 4th, 8th and 12th grade levels. The Wisconsin Model Academic
Standards were written by educators, business people and parents from throughout Wisconsin
serving on committees under the oversight of the Governor?s Council on Model Academic
Standards,? (www.fairtest.org).

Bush wants tests to be used to tell if in fact the student has taken in the standard amount
of knowledge they should have while in that grade. Getting eighty out of one-hundred questions
would not be bad neither. That is because often times, questions are thrown in that may not have
necessarily been something the student would have learned during his third grade year but rather
his fourth grade year.

If the student does answer those questions correctly the student is advanced
and know more than the standard amount of information that was taught to them. Under Bush?s
plan, if a large amount of students are not meeting state standards of what they should be
learning, then tax money will be yanked away from that school. In this case, it is crucial that all
teachers do their job in teaching children the standard information required to be known by a
specific grade or skill level. If the standard information is taught thoroughly and correctly then it
should be easy for the student to take a standardized test and come out equal to or ahead of set

A Norm-Referenced test compare a person?s score against the scores of a group of people
who have already taken the same exam, called the ?norming group.? A NRT (Norm-Referenced
Test) is designed to ?rank-order? test takers, or compare students? scores. To make comparing
easier, exams are created in which the results end up graphed in a bell-like curve. This means most
of the students score near the middle, with some being higher and some lower. Items on the test
are only a sample of the whole subject area. From what could be thousands of questions, only a
portion of the questions are on the test. The score is to estimate how well the student would do if
all possible questions were asked. Measurement errors may also occur. When teachers and
politicians call for all students to score above the national average, that is in no way possible. A
NRT is made so that half of the tested individuals score below the average score. NRTs can only
measure a portion of a students abilities.

It however, does not give the student a chance as an
individual, to show what they know and how they can apply it to real-world situations. ?The
damage caused by using NRTs is far greater than any possible benefits the tests provide. The main
purpose of NRTs is to rank and sort students, not to determine whether students have learned the
material they have been taught. They do not measure anywhere near enough of what students
should learn. They have very harmful effects on curriculum and instruction. In the end, they
provide a distorted view of learning that then causes damage to teaching and learning.?

A Criterion-Referenced test measures how well a person has learned a specific body of
knowledge and skills.     The passing score is usually set by a committee of experts and is subjective,
not objective. A criterion is a standard, rule, or test on which a judgment or decision can be based
(www.dictionary.com). NRTs are designed to rank students ?on the curve,? but the CRTs are to
see if they meet a standard or criterion (www.fairtest.org)

Many are not happy with standardized testing and strongly oppose it. The money and time
spent on testing and test preparation is skyrocketing. Lots of people feel that tests are biased
towards those of different races and incomes. There have been many walkouts and even sites
completely dedicated to ending testing. One of those sites is www.NoMoreTests.com. On their
site you will find examples of walkouts and reasons why to stop standardized testing. You can
even print out fliers and get free anti-test bumperstickers. (Examples of walkouts and other
information on reasons why to oppose standardized testing, can be found in the NoMoreTests

The battle between whether standardized testing is necessary or not will more than likely
continue for many years to come. There continues to be groups both supporting tests and groups
trying to bring a stop to testing altogether. With more and more schools basing graduation on
standardized test scores, and the never ending controversy on bias in testing, the battle continues.
The money spent for preparation and the stress many students receive is undeniably growing and
it is not known where this situation will be in the years to come.

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