We begin with an overview of the controversies surrounding standardized testing in a modern context and evaluate these controversies with an eye to how educators can learn from the issues at hand. We explore the issue of race and standardized testing and discern whether or not standardized testing is the best means through which student evaluation is undertaken. From this perspective, the historical and sociopolitical issues surrounding standardized testing in America are brought to the fore.
Controversy surrounding the implementation of standardized testing can be found throughout the United States. Does a uniform, standardized test accurately reflect a student’s educational aptitude, learning history and future academic performance? As mentioned above, standardized testing is quite common in the United States as the SAT remains a near universal experience for high school students across the country aiming to get into the universities and colleges of the choice. The issue of standardized testing is relatively recent worldwide and remains embroiled in controversy. Presently, Canadian universities do not require a standardized test for admittance although many graduate school programs do. These include the GMAT or LSAT for law school applications. Presently, Montreal’s McGill University is the only English-language law school in North America which does not require an LSAT score for admittance. As the issue of standardized testing came to the fore, a September 2005 poll by the College of Teachers found that 71% of teachers were “dead set against standardized testing”. In a survey from 2004,
Teachers vehemently oppose the use of standardized tests as a means to evaluate staff or schools or to decide how money is allocated to schools or school boards. The public disagrees. For example, 79 per cent of teachers oppose using provincial tests to