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Are Standardized Tests Improving Education In America?

The world is changing. That means we should be preparing our youth for the future so they can engage with these changes and work to improve the world and their lives. Except the education system in America has been criticized for a number of things. One area of critique is in the use of standardized tests

One of the glaring issues to point out is the fact that standardized tests encourage teachers to “teach to the test.” This means that teachers are not really trying to improve student knowledge; rather, they teach things that will help students to pass the test, which leads to gaps in knowledge.

Another issue with standardized tests is that it is costly. It has been reported that some states spend as much as $1.7 billion a year to conduct standardized tests. The results of the test and the impact on the lives of the students, some will argue, are not worth the high cost. This is even more atrocious when you consider the fact that many schools are in dire need of funding, updated materials, and adding after-school programs. The fact that teacher success is partially measured by the standardized test is another reason it is not helping the education system so much. 

There are positives to standardize testing. The most important reason for the test is to ensure that the level of education in the country is up to the required standard everywhere. The idea is to create equal opportunity for every student, and it is working to some extent. It is also considered necessary for evaluating students from different states applying for university admissions. The need for an objective measure makes the use of standardized tests crucial. 

While the use of standardized tests in American has its shortcomings, it is wrong to assume that it is useless to the educational system. There is evidence that it helps students and teachers stay focused and retain information long-term.