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The U.S. Secretary of Education


The U.S. Secretary of Education admits that standardized tests are basically designed so that 70% of students will fail, with a higher percentage among students with disabilities, English Language learners, and children who live in poverty and they are unfair to the neediest children, feeds into racial determinism in American society while closing doors of opportunity for Black and Latino children. This form of testing intelligence has been a big controversial topic and have been unfair to many minorities and test takers. Standardized testing isn’t fair because it narrows students’ minds and intelligence and it isn’t scored fairly.

Standardized testing makes teachers teach the students the contents of the test, narrowing their minds and intelligence. Alexandria Daniels, a student at Sonoma State, wrote an article in the university’s journalism page that said, “According to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, standardized testing isn’t a helpful evaluation tool because such tests don’t measure the ability to think deeply or creatively. Many students don’t work well under pressure or when they’re racing a clock. This added stress could also contribute to lower score outcomes, again not producing a true, valid measure of intelligence.”. Standardized testing isn’t fair because it doesn’t give students enough time or essential questions. The questions asked narrow the minds of students making it difficult to test their overall intelligence. Schoolmart, a website for students and parents to learn about school topics, has assisted individuals with education since 1991. This is what they had to say about standardized testing. “teachers are forced to solely focus on test-related content, missing out on a lot of the other skills that go beyond the test. Such teaching styles may limit the creativity and excitement of the classroom, and leave students feeling bored or uninspired without some of the “soft skills” normally gained in the classroom.”. Standardized testing makes teachers only teach the test which makes students not able to express themselves outside of the test content. Bryan Nixon, the head of the school TASIS England, wrote in an article for Whitby School, “It’s also easy to assume that students who score high in math are good at processing information and reasoning abstractly, but that’s not always the case. In fact, researchers have found that high standardized scores have little correlation with memory, attention and processing speed. High test scores could simply mean a student excels at rote memorization and multiple choice test taking.” Getting low test scores doesn’t mean that you’re not able to process information quickly, it just means you’re not the best at multiple choice test taking. People who have higher test scores may be as smart as people with lower test scores, but schools base intelligence on test scores. In conclusion, standardized testing is unfair because it doesn’t test the complete knowledge of the students.

Standardized testing isn't scored fairly due to disabilities, ethnicity/race, anxiety/stress. In an article by FairTest (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing), is an American educational organization that addresses issues related to fairness and accuracy in student test taking and scoring, they wrote, “But for some students with significant disabilities, state standardized tests are cognitively inappropriate. They may become a grueling and traumatic exercise, wasting time that could be spent working to make progress on their individual learning goals.”. Students with disabilities have to take the same test in the same amount of time as the students who don’t. This may cause them to have lower scores due to their disabilities getting in the way.

Schoolmart, a website for students and parents to learn about school topics, had assisted individuals with education since 1991. They also wrote, “If a student is feeling sick, stressed, or tired on the day a standardized test is given, this may negatively impact their ability to perform during the test, even if they would otherwise know and understand the concepts being tested. Some students may also exhibit chronic test anxiety, and therefore will not perform well under such stressful circumstances, regardless of how well they know the content.”. Standardized test scores don’t reflect a student’s overall intelligence because they may be not ready for the test due to being stressed on that day. You usually can’t retake the test when you’re feeling more confident/better. Scores aren’t true a lot of the time because of the day the students are taking it on. Brookings, a website that has 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, in an article about standardized testing wrote, “if the math section was scored between 0 and 1000, we might see more complete tails on both the right and the left. More Asians score between 750 and 800 than score between 700 and 750, suggesting that many Asians could be scoring above 800 if the test allowed them to.”. Again, standardized testing also discriminates based on race. Studies show that races, for example, Asians, average score on the SAT could have been much higher if the test allowed their scores to be that high. In short, standardized testing is unfair because it discriminates against minorities.

Some may argue standardized testing is fair because everyone is given the same circumstances, no exceptions. Aaron Churchill, research director for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, said, “At their core, standardized exams are designed to be objective measures. They assess students based on a similar set of questions, are given under nearly identical testing conditions, and are graded by a machine or blind reviewer. They are intended to provide an accurate, unfiltered measure of what a student knows.” All students are given the same questions, content, time, and the tests are graded the same. This means that there are no exceptions which gives the most accurate and fairest measure of knowledge from a student. While everyone gets the same conditions, it’s not always fair. Some students are graded on a curve because of some biased reasons, and some are failed because of another unfair reason. Others may have some disabilities, whether mental or physical, that don’t allow them to take the test like a normal student could have. Although students are taking the test the same as everyone else, there are instances for a lot of kids where the grading or the test taking itself aren’t fair. Those who feel it’s fair don’t take into account that the kids themselves have troubles with the test but can’t voice it or isn’t taken seriously because the test is “fair” in the eyes of most. Even though students are given the same circumstances, standardized testing is never always fair.

In conclusion, standardized testing isn’t fair because it narrows students minds and intelligence and it isn’t scored fairly. This form of testing has been biased and lawless for many years now for students because of the underlying discrimination and fixed education. If we want students to get the education and correct measure of their intelligence they deserve, we have to change the way they are tested.

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