Suli Breaks, a spoken word artist, created a piece titled "I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate," that went into depth that basing the worth and knowledge a student has on a test is wrong. In the spoken word he has questioned why a world with different people is asked to be tested by the same exact things. To further back his claim that standardized testing is wrong he asks the audience where the idea of standardized testing came from. He answers himself back by saying standardized testing comes from society, the same society that is against abortion but still chooses to look down on teenage parents. He asks his audience why anyone would listen to a society that contradicts itself constantly, and a society that is constantly confused about their own beliefs. By the end of his spoken word, Suli Breaks states that the numbers given to us by these standardized examinations mean absolutely nothing to our future. The numerous amounts of tests we are constantly drilled for asking us to memorize things like the Pythagorean Theorem have absolutely nothing to do with surviving in the real world. When has an exam ever prepared you to do your taxes?
I love the realism that Suli Breaks uses to approach the subject of exams. Suli Breaks as an amazing spoken word artist and this spoken word just further proves it. It helped give my research the perspective of a man that is educated because he went to college, yet he criticizes the system he was a part of his whole life. Instead of just having a professional write up a whole report on the matter, one can just see the thoughts the average person may have on the matter. What I liked the most was at the end Suli Breaks states that he does not mean to strike up a controversy with what he is saying all he has ever wanted to do was better inform the public.
In "Standardized Testing: The Problem with America's Education System," Jacob D. Jones presents his thesis that the cause of the doubling rate of depression in students, as well as the increase in stress, is standardized testing. He further explains that this is because the scores of a student's standardized test affect his future a lot more, so having bad test scores can not guarantee you the best of futures. As Jones begins to prove his thesis he divides the proof into five different facts. The first is that standardized testing in the United States has never occurred as often at any point in its own history or compared to the rest of the world now. He adds more emphasize to this fact by listing the different countries that refuse to put their students through standardized testing and shows how they have higher literacy and math rates compared to the United States. The second fact which he used a study to proves, is the standardized testing can only measure superficial thinking. That is not the type of thinking most employers want in the real world. The third fact was that all experts that he finds relevant see standardized testing as a horrible way to base any kind of future choices for a student. In the fourth facts, Jones talks about the time, energy and money that must go in to make standardized tests a reality this causes for there to cutbacks in programs such as the arts. His final fact is that Jones has noticed teachers with students that have bad test scores end up being fired, standardized testing should not be used to see how well a child is taught.
This video went very in depth with the arguments against standardized testing, citing many examples as proof. It was very helpful to my research because it provided my argument with more ammunition than what it originally had. It also provided me with other resources that I could possibly look into such as a New York Times article that contained a graph about the relationship between SAT scores and income.
In the video "None of the Above- Why Standardized Testing Fails: Bob Sternberg at TedxoStateU," Bob Sternberg discusses his entire life experiences with standardized testing. It starts off when he was young and had to take an IQ test but would do poorly on causing Sternberg to be text anxious throughout his childhood. As his academic career progressed he realized that he was, in fact, a good student with the help of doing actual educational school work instead of just focusing on a test. Sternberg goes on and fast-forwards to his present life where he looks down on tests like the SAT or ACT because they are just the modern-day versions of IQ tests. He questions what the point is to using tests that were created so long ago if the age we live in now is constantly changing. Standardized exams now do not account for the diverse population that is currently taking them, the fact that the socioeconomic status of a student can more or less be told by their test scores, and that the skills needed for survival are no longer found on a test. Sternberg explains that we do not change the current system because we are in because as people we have become accustomed to these methods that it is hard to shake them, people are so attached to numbers that say how smart they are but, in reality, these numbers do not predict much, and so many other reasons. Recently to test out the possibilities in a world without standardized testing he did a study about launching a test, that appealed to the creative and analytical skills of the student, nationwide. It was discovered that using this type of testing it would double the reliability of academic prediction compared to the SAT AND ACT and it also cut ethnic group differences in half.
The best thing about this research study was being able to follow one person journey and experiences with standardized testing instead of multiple experiences all at once like many studies do. Focusing on one person life allows my research to become more relatable to anyone else that was facing similar problems as Sternberg. This article was also able to provide an alternative to using standardized testing in the college application process.
In the video "Standardized Testing's Epic Fail," two SourceFed, a company that reports recent news, employees did a story about the FCAT. The FCAT is a Florida Standardized test that was under the spotlight in 2012. It was shown that out of all the students who took the FCAT's in 2011 eighty-one percent passed, compared to 2012's twenty-seven percent passing scores. Due to this "little" discretion in the scores, many people blamed new higher standards set up by the examination board and called for remedial programs for students that needed the extra push, which would come from taxpayers money. SourceFed looked further into the matter and saw that officials actually wanted to lower the cut-off for passing, but even then there were still a lot more passing grades the previous. The SourceFed reporters then changed their attention to the why, why are so many students failing standardized tests? They analyzed the situation and concluded that standardized tests do not do anything to help, anyone who wants to pass can just take a crash course on how to take an exam and never have the knowledge or the ability necessary to be considered educated. They end the video stating that the things at stake by failing a standardized exam are too high and instead there should be less testing and more teaching.
Although the video was short it was able to give a lot of information quickly, while also providing a comic relief that made the video more enjoyable to watch. In relation to my research study, just like the STAR website, it was able to provide a view on how the Department of Education of another state handles the matter or standardized testing. In this situation, I was able to see how standardized testing went horribly wrong resulting in a bunch of bureaucrats trying to cover up by lowering the standards.