The prevalent use of standardized tests has caused much controversy in recent years. Some feel that they have an important place in helping to assess student ability and school quality, while others feel that they have very little validity, and detract significantly from our children's educational experience. A great deal of studies have been published in attempt to understand the true effect that standardized tests have on education, yet there has been little consensus among opposing sides. No matter one's position on the subject, a clear understanding of both the pros and cons of standardized testing will aid our country in its quest to improve the quality of education for all of our students. If administrators and policy-makers would take into account both the benefits and the drawbacks of standardized testing, they could work to create educational policies that take advantage of the data that standardized tests offer, while not allowing test bias or an overemphasis on test scores to detract from our student's education.
The driving force behind the prevalent use of standardized tests in school districts across the country is a belief that they will hold schools and teachers accountable for each student, and that no child will be allowed to slip through the cracks. This is essentially the premise of the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2002, which uses standardized test scores to determine whether or not schools are making adequate progress. ...Show more