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Standardized Testing in Schools

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What are some of the benefits and challenges of using standardized testing in schools?

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1. What are some of the benefits and challenges of using standardized testing in schools?

There are still many benefits attributed to standardized tests, both real and perceived. However, there are also many criticisms and challenges as well. Let's look at both:


o Standardized tests can provide two useful sorts of information.

o They can be used for assessment, the weighing of an individual student's abilities to provide better teaching, and accountability, the control mechanism that outside agencies have over educators and students to make sure both are doing their job. This information is often used to make important decisions.

o The focus of standardized testing is its universal nature, designed to be presented to students in a universal fashion so that the methods of administration do not become a variable in the performance of the students. It provides comparable data across different schools for decision-making.

o These questions themselves are to be universally accessible by the students. These controlled variables lead to a perception and treatment of standardized test results as laboratory results (Haney and Madaus, p. 18, as cited in http://eserver.org/courses/fall96/76-100g/jones/).

o One very popular use of standardized testing is for purposes of determining students suitable for remediation. Standardized testing moved into the educational spotlight for its ability to test "minimum competency" in the ...

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This solution examines some of the benefits and challenges of using standardized testing in schools.

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