The website for the National Center for Fair and Open Testing is a website that focuses on the advocacy group, the different services that they offer, their road to success and a myriad of other resources for anyone that wants to join the group.The website's homepage alone is filled with many options to further read about the accomplishments of the advocacy group as well as success stories they have had. Looking at the top tabs a person is given seven different options to further learn about the topic of standardized testing, they are Public School, College Admission, Newsletter, Fact Sheet, Act Now, News and Other Resources. Each of these tabs contains more drop down menu options with a multitude of things to read, such as the accountability of a high-stakes examination. Another great aspect of this website is it offers archives of past research done on the effects of standardized testing. The last tab, other resources, gives citations to where the website obtained its information from, which to a researcher could lead to more articles and information to read.
This website is spectacular for anyone who wants to help further with the issue of standardized testing or even if you just want to learn more about the issue. One of the most interesting things that I found on the website is that it gives a list of over eight hundred and fifteen colleges that do not use the SAT or ACT as a factor during the admissions process. Apart from just giving the list, it also has a separate tab to explain exactly why these colleges chose to not use these standardized tests when evaluating a student. I found that very interesting since I had just gone through the college admissions process barely a year ago and I have other family members that are going through it now, I feel very inclined to share this website with them. This website was also extremely helpful in my research because it gave me a lot of valuable information in a very neatly organized package.
Two people, Colette Kemmerling and Molly Hicks, combined together to create a website that specifically talked about the pros and the cons of standardized testing. The main reason for creating this website is because both parties know that this extremely long debate about standardized testing will one day end, and whatever the outcome is it will affect the education of many students. The homepage consists of small lists that both Kemmerling and Hicks provide as a preview to their arguments, Kemmerling spoke about the pros while Hicks spoke about the cons. At the bottoms of these previews, the website provides links to the lengthier version of the argument. Kemmerling focused her argument about standardized testing being a good thing on three main points. The first is that standardized testing predicts future success, the second is that standardized testing makes better students and better teachers, the final point is that standardized testing provides accountability. Using different pictures to make the website more welcoming, she gets her point across clearly. Hicks used a different approach to proving the cons of standardized testing. She first provides her opinion and then continues to prove it by using facts. Both sides of the websites provide a list of further resources for any reader to view.
This website was one of the few that looked a both the pro and the cons of standardized testing, most websites tend to support one or the other. It was able to provide a non-biased view because it showed both sides of the issue. This was not as a reliable source for a research study of the sociological effects of standardized testing, but it did still have good information. It allowed me to see how standardized testing is seen from two viewpoints and it gave me more information about the pros of standardized testing which is a hard topic to find sources on.
Standardized Tests: Pros and Cons is a professional looking non-profit website that discusses the pros and cons of standardized testing just like the website above. The website lists the pros and cons of the issue side by side allowing the reader to compare both sides of the argument as they go down the list. The website also includes a background on the issue, from the earliest uses of standardized testing to its now more modern uses and even includes information about the heated debate. This part of the website looks at the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act as a turning point for standardized testing because it caused the use of them to increase. It also includes a chart that reports the United States ranks of global mathematic scores is very low compared to other countries. The final part of the website includes an embedded youtube video on each side of the argument as well. Other things this website includes is a survey for educators to take about standardized testing, a chance to share the web page amongst social media and it even has a political twist to it. The website contains a web page that talks about the 2012 presidential elections, it shows the candidates stated opinions about standardized testing. On this web page there is a graph that shows only the republican candidate, Mitt Romney was for standardized testing. Everybody else was against it or did not disclose their preference on the matter.
This website provided my research a more bureaucratic view on the pros and cons of standardized testing. What was great about this website is that it provided more information than what the title of the website led to believe. The brief history of standardized testing the website gave, gave me another source to look at when discussing it. The history of something can lead to finding out when the problem began to arise in the old system.
On this STAR website, the Department of Education in California gives information about a standardized test that is given to Californian children, ranging from grades two to eleven, in the Spring. This standardized test is used to measure how well the California education system is doing educating their students. The website offers sample questions for the students, booklets for parents to learn more about the examination and additional resources for educators to better teach their students about the standardized test. The website shows how the exams are divided into four different parts: Math, English, Science, and History/ Social Science. It further states that the reason for these examinations is to evaluate students by looking at their strengths and weaknesses in each subject area and then comparing it to the overall scores of other students in California. After the explanation of the exam, the website gives you their definition of the different performance levels they are: advanced, proficient, basic and far below standards, the Department of Education emphasizes twice on the same page that the main goal is for students to perform on the first two levels.
The main reason I chose this website was to further my knowledge on what another Board of Education, from a different state as mine, handles standardized testing. They are very informative on their website by providing sample questions, but what I like the most about the website is as soon as you click the "About STAR" tab one can see a paragraph that tells parents they can opt their children out from taking the examination with written notice. The website understands that the students and their guardians have the right to choose whether to go through the stress that comes from standardized testing. The website also furthered my research by providing me links to other resources about standardized testing and the options that come attached to it.