Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid 1800s. They have been used a lot more due to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), that was put in effect in 2002 and mandated annual testing to the whole nation. Students in America had slipped from 18th in world math in 2000, to 31st place in 2009. There was a similar decline in science and no changes in reading. Failures have been blamed on rising poverty levels, teacher quality, tenure policies, and the increase on the use of standardized tests.
People who are for standardized tests say that they are fair and an objective measure of student achievement. They also say that they ensure the teachers and that the schools are accountable taxpayers. They also claim parents and students approve of the testing.
People who are against the standardized tests say that they are neither fair nor are they objective. Their use promotes a narrow curriculum and that they are “teaching to the test.” They claim excessive testing undermines America’s ability to produce innovators and critical thinkers.
So, what do all of you think? Is standardized testing really useful?