The Problem of Standardized testing in a Free and Pluralistic Society
Charles V. W. (1985). The problem of standardized testing in a free and
pluralistic society. The Phi Delta Kapplan, 66(9), 626-628.
In "The Problem of Standardized testing in a Free and Pluralistic Society," the author Charles V. Willie bases his writing on the issue of standardized testing and why America, a society that heavily believes in freedom, accepts standardized testing as a way to show someone's competence. He concentrates on the effect of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) on the acceptance rate for undergraduate programs in colleges, looking as to how the ethnic background of a person can affect his or her performance on the SAT. He starts off by stating that different cultural conditioning leads to different intellectual strengths providing two case studies to further prove his point. The first took place in The School of Medicine at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, which changed its admissions procedure to ignore any test scores and focus on the student's activities outside of the classroom. It was revealed at the end of the admission process that a higher percentage of minority students were admitted compared to the old process. The second case study took place at the University of California, where they looked at the previous year's admitted students and reviewed them under a different standard that focused more on test scores. At the end, it was found that if the school would have focused more on the test score, there would be 9.8% less Latinos and 8.8% fewer blacks in the current school population.
Throughout the article, Willie tries to point out that an entire nation can be blind to the repeatedly stated faults of standardized testing. Unlike most, he focused his attention on standardized testing at a much older stage of the educational system. He provides a well thought out explanation of how ethnic backgrounds play a role in tests that were standardized for white populations. In my study, Willie's article was able to provide yet another reason for why standardized testing is not the best way to see the competency of a student, as well as an example of an alternative to standardized testing.
The Social Effects of Standardized Testing in American Elementary and Secondary Schools
Goslin, D. A., & Glass D. C., (1967). The sociological effects of
standardized testing in american elementary and secondary schools. Sociology of Education, 40(2), 115-131.
In "The Social Effects of Standardized Testing in American Elementary and Secondary Schools," Goslin and Glass explore the sociological effects of IQ testing on students and their future. They start off by analyzing America's increased interest in being able to measure a person's intelligence and achievement, giving background to their research study. Their researchers used students and their teachers from different elementary schools and high schools located in over four different states ranging from public schools, private schools, and parochial schools. They focused the surveys given to the subjects on four aspects, the first being the "The Nature of Intelligence and Accuracy of Tests" where it was concluded that most people believe that intelligence is the effect of learning but many also believed that standardized tests like IQ tests were accurate. The second aspect was "The Dissemination of Test Scores," which is how often teachers give test scores or an explanation of their academic standing to students. It was found that this happens a fair amount of times throughout the different types of school systems. The third aspect discusses the source that students used to evaluate their intelligence. It was found that most males rely heavily on their test scores while females rely heavily on their school performance. The last aspect was the relationship between self-estimates of intelligence, test scores and any aspirations for future education. It was found that students ballpark guess of their own intelligence is pretty close to their scores on standardized testing, which in turn has a positive effect on aspirations for future education.
What was unique about this article is, that it did not focus on how reliable or valid standardized testing is but rather on the effect these tests have sociologically on today's students and their image of intelligence. Although it was an interesting and socially informative article, it was not really helpful besides providing an insight on the effects of one of the first standardized tests; the IQ test.
Managing Standardized Testing in Today's Schools
Klein, A. M., Zevenbergen, A. A., & Brown, N. (2006). Managing
standardized testing in today's schools. The Journal of Educational Thought (JET), 40(2), 145-157.
In "Managing Standardized Testing in Today's Schools" Klein, Zevenbergen, and Brown look at standardized testing through the eyes of a teacher and how it affects his or her ability to teach using a research study. The authors surveyed the twenty teachers from three different elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school from Western New York. Then using a constant comparative method, they analyzed the data, giving a demographic of all the participants. Looking at the results of the surveys, there were more negative responses than there were positive. Beginning with the first question asking how standardized testing affects teaching, most teachers responded by saying that they have to focus on promoting and preparing for the test without actually teaching the test, which makes for tricky lesson plans. The second question asks the way standardized testing affects the learning process of students; most teachers responded by stating that if a student does not excel in a subject they have an intense distaste for it and that students tend to feel like they are not learning how to appreciate the knowledge the gain. The next question asks how the content taught reflects on the standardized testing; most teachers responded by stating that the content taught is what is on the test. The last question which had the most negative answers was about how standardized testing influenced self-views and education; many answered that they feel hopeless, have lower self-esteem, and a fear of tests. By the end of the research study, the authors recommended different ways to help teachers cope with standardized testing, such as workshops that say it is okay for teachers to teach strategy kind of education instead of drilling students for potential tests.
What was interesting about this research study is that it focused on standardized testing affecting teachers instead of students. For the most part, people sometimes turn a blind eye to how the education system affects teachers, but this article highlighted how teachers were not happy about standardized testing. This really helped in my research study because it gave me another point of view to look from when discussing standardized testing. It further went to show that standardized testing has more victims than just students.
Heightened Test Anxiety Among Young Children: Elementary School Students' Anxious Responses to High-Stakes Testing
Segool, N., Carlson, J., Goforth, A., Embse, N., & Barterian, J. (2013).
Heightened test anxiety among young children: elementary school students' anxious responses to high-stakes testing. Psychology in the Schools, 50(5), 489-499.
In reading "Heightened Test Anxiety Among Young Children: Elementary School Students' Anxious Responses to High-Stakes Testing" the authors Segool, Carlson, Goforth, Embse, and Barterian submerged me in a research study similar to mine. The authors focus on the debated issue of standardized testing. The main point of the study was to discover the difference in anxiety levels of elementary school kids taking high-stake examinations and regular classroom examinations. The study also focused on the anxiety levels of the teachers giving these examinations and how they perceived their students during these examinations. Intended to represent a wide range of demographics in the study, the authors gathered a total of 617 children and their teachers, from 25 different classrooms, ranging from grades three through five, from three different elementary schools in a midwestern state. Although, it was revealed at the end of the study that the demographics of the sample students was not as versatile as expected, but by the end of the article the researchers’ hypotheses were proven correct. The researchers concluded that students had higher levels of anxiety when taking high-stakes exams, and the teachers had been able to tell that their students had higher anxiety levels during these exams. The researchers also provided future research proposals to further enhance the knowledge of this field.
Throughout the article, the goal of the author is to provide a nonbias method of measuring whether or not high-stake assessments; for example, New York state exams give students higher anxiety levels. The beginning of the article provides information on other research studies and its faults while giving a solution to them that will be used in their research study. This source has revealed to be very helpful to anyone researching the topic of standardized testing by giving actual statistics, tables and graphs about their findings in clear and organized manner. In my case, it helps shape my argument that standardized testing has negative impacts on students compared to other methods of testing. Not to mention, the article provided a clear and well-written example of what a research study paper should look like.