Futility of Standerdized Tests By JumboMoos Presents arguments against the use of standerdized tests and alternative assessments

Essay by JumboMoosHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2003

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Standardized Testing

As a sophomore in high school, I have endured years of 'standardized tests.' If we start counting in third grade, I have wasted at least 30 days of my life taking tests so that I might be compared to a 'standard' student that doesn't even exist; all this so my school can make more money to spend on six TV's in the weight room. For me, these tests have generally been unbelievably easy, scoring at least the 90 percentile in everything; but I have also been raised in an upper-middle class family who actively seeks communities with better (meaning richer) schools. My performance on these tests, has at most, been facile. If we are using standardized tests as the sole factor in determining a student's status or success in life, then our educational system is truly treading a path towards discrimination, 'teaching' for the sake of tests, and general discontent among teachers, parents, and most importantly, students.

Testing itself derives from discrimination and misconceptions. The developer of the SAT and dean of Princeton at the time stated "The decline of American intelligence will be more rapid than the decline of the intelligence of European groups, owing to the presence here of the Negro" (Carl Brigham). More than six out of every ten African American tenth-graders in the class of 1998 failed the TAAS (18,000 of 28,000). Likewise almost six out of ten Mexican American sophomores scored below the cutoff point on at least one part of the TAAS exam (39,000 of 68,000), while only one third of white tenth-graders in the class of 1998 failed the TAAS graduation test (33,000 of 114,000). These results are staggering, how accurate are these tests when almost 43% of students are failing (90,000 of 210,000)?

The often overlooked roots of testing date...