Chira, S. (1992, October 16). Study finds standardized tests may hurt
education efforts. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/
In the New York Times article, "Study Finds Standardized Tests May Hurt Education Efforts" the author Susan Chira reflects on a research study that could have potentially affected the presidential election of that year and quotes commentary from textbook companies that were negatively affected by the research study. The study concluded that standardized testing hurts the progress of math and science education as well as the minority students who are taking these standardized tests because standardized tests shape teachers to teach using a drilling method instead of a reasoning method necessary to excel in science and math. This led researchers to suggest that standardized testing should continue but with a more critical thinking and reasoning approach to it. The author then states that the three presidential candidates of the time: Clinton, Bush and Perot had all agreed that standardized test reform was a necessary step for America but none of them had specifically outlined a plan. The author hinted that the reason no specific outline plan was given was because to make standardized tests that measure reasoning skills it would cost $100 per student compared to the current $2 to $5 price. The study had also blamed textbooks for the drill approach teachers had, the author of the article had included comments many textbook companies released saying the study had focused on old textbooks and not the new versions that contained opportunities to learn using reasoning skills.
This is the only article I read that looked down on the standardized testing method but still wanted to keep it, just change the way it was formatted. It gave a chance to people who like standardized testing and people who do not to compromise. The article also had a very realistic approach to the topic because it gave a plausible reason people do not want complete standardized testing reform: the cost. I found the article very helpful to my research study because apart from providing an alternative to the current standardized testing method it also further backed up the idea that articles I have read presented: Standardized testing changes the way teachers teach which negatively affects the students.
Fletcher, D. (2009, December 11). Standardized testing. Time Magazine.
Retrieved from http://time.com/
In the Time Magazine article, "Standardized Testing" the author Dan Fletcher wrote about the history of standardized testing which leads to discussing the evolution of the SAT and ACT to its current form. Fletcher stated the earliest form of standardized testing comes from China used for anyone applying for government jobs. Once reaching the Western World standardized testing was used as a quick way to test a large number of people in a short span of time. The IQ test would emerge soon after followed by standardized exams given to soldiers during World War I to test their mental capacity. By 1926, the SAT came into the picture, and by the end of World War II, it became very popular by colleges to test high school seniors on their readiness for college. This test was completely unchanged until 2005, but only minor changes were made. The ACT began in 1959, as the SAT's competition, and it became more popular in the Midwest and South. The author continues on to explain the difference between the SAT and ACT stating that the SAT tests more logic while the ACT tests knowledge that has been learned throughout a person's academic life. As a final statement, the author tells the reader about the current amount of standardized testing that occurs in students academic life, which has led him to believe that when a student takes the SAT or ACT they have experienced so many other timed tests that timing no longer is a problem for students.
The authors purpose for creating this article was to inform an audience of a brief history of standardized testing, Fletcher did a very good job of doing so. He provided an easy to read an article that went straight to the point. It was also one of the few articles that I read that went into more detail about the history of standardized testing. The article became almost the backbone of my research study because it gave me the context of standardized testing.
Neill, M. & Strauss, V. (2014, October 30). The rise of the anti-standardized
testing movement. [weblog]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/
The Washington Post article, "The Rise of the Anti-Standardized Testing Movement", the authors Neill and Strauss discuss a growing movement that fights against standardized testing and is for education reform. So far in 2014 the movement has been very successful by either removing, decreasing or delaying graduation exams in eight states. The authors examine the different tactics the movement uses, the obstacles they face, and their future goals. As of recent the movement: boycotts tests, holds protests, and uses the social media to get their message out to a bigger audience. One of the movement's biggest wins occurred in New York where twenty school districts refused to use their students as guinea pigs for next year's state mandated exams. Like most movements, this one is also faced with many obstacles and oppositions such as threatening to fire teachers that did not administer these examinations. Some schools have adopted a "sit and stare" method for students who refuse to take standardized examinations. Neill goes on to expand on the topic of obstacles by focusing on lower income schools that have a predominantly black and latino population. In these kinds of school responses to refusing to take an exam are harsher because there is rarely any opposition from parents. The authors also take a look at the future of the movement who has hopes of creating better exams to test students. One of their biggest goals is to continue to exponentially expand to reach a bigger audience.
The authors of this article were in a way part of the anti-standardized testing movement because with this article they were spreading the message of the movement to its readers. This is one of my most recent articles that I have used in my research study, it has helped me further prove my point that throughout time standardized testing has been a problem and there has not been enough change to satisfy the public.
Augustine, N. R. (2013, August 3). Here's why schools need standardized
testing. The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved from http://bangordailynews.com/
In the Bangor Daily News article, "Here's Why Schools Need Standardized Testing" the author Norman R. Augustine takes a new approach to the subject of standardized testing, he fully supports and wants to convince people that standardized testing is valuable. He begins by providing three arguments people who are against standardized testing usually use and the attacks them. The first argument he attacks is: standardized testing causes teachers to teach how to take a test. He attacks this argument by stating that teaching how to take a test is the whole point of education if a test measures knowledge taught in classrooms then teaching the test is just like teaching knowledge. The second argument he attacks is: standardized testing leads to school administrators inflating exam scores for their own benefit. Augustine responded by calling this argument absurd for blaming the actions of administrators on a test that has no correlation to their actions. The final argument he attacked was: standardized tests cause stress on students. He argues that completely abolishing these high-stakes examinations can not be the answer, instead, a compromise should be reached that would be beneficial to both parties involved. He ends his article by stating that anti-standardized testing protesters have never considered a compromise as an important thing to fight for. He states that America has fallen behind compared to the intelligence of the rest of the world and the only solution is to raise the standards, not lowering them by abolishing standardized testing.
The biggest reason I chose this article was because I wanted to learn more about the opposition my research study would be going against. I wanted to learn the reasoning behind someone who supports standardized testing. This article was perfect for this approach and because I now know the opposing sides viewpoint I can concentrate on providing evidence that could possibly prove those points wrong.