Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thoughts on standardized testing 1/29

- thinking that brings together information focussed on solving a problem (especially solving problems that have a single correct solution)

divergent thinking - (Psychology) Psychol thinking in an unusual and unstereotyped way, e.g. to generate several possible solutions to a problem 

In my opinion, standardized testing only tests a students ability to think convergently. After reading the above definitions, does this seem like the way we want out future students to think? Convergent thinking and standardized testing alike, leave no room for students to think "outside of the box". Thinking outside of the box is important for all aspects of education and life (again, in my opinion). I don't feel like standardized tests are a fair way to judge students knowledge base. Here are some fun facts generated by 
  1. Following the passage of NCLB on Jan. 8, 2002, annual state spending on standardized tests rose from $423 million to almost $1.1 billion in 2008 (a 160% increase compared to a 19.22% increase in inflation over the same period), according to the Pew Center on the States. [42]
  2. 93% of studies have found student testing, including the use of large-scale and high-stakes standardized tests, to have a "positive effect" on student achievement, according to a peer-reviewed, 100-year analysis of testing research completed in 2011 by testing scholar Richard P. Phelps. [138]
  3. On Mar. 14, 2002, the Sacramento Bee reported that "test-related jitters, especially among young students, are so common that the Stanford-9 exam comes with instructions on what to do with a test booklet in case a student vomits on it." [8]
  4. China, a country with a long tradition of standardized testing, topped all countries in the international rankings for reading, math, and science in 2009 when it debuted on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) charts.[150]
  5. The current use of No. 2 pencils on standardized tests is a holdover from the 1930s through the 1960s, when scanning machines scored answer sheets by detecting the electrical conductivity of graphite pencil marks. [73] [74]


The above facts give both pros and cons for standardized tests. I can see both arguments but I feel
like when my cons start to outweigh my pros, that cant be a good sign. 

This website has some really interesting pro and con arguments that might change your mind or simply backup your opinion. I highly recommend everyone check it out. Eye opener for me, for sure!

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