Standardized Testing Due To No Child Left
Even though America may be one of the world’s most dominant economic powerhouses, do our school system prove to be the same? A well developed education system is very important for any nation that wants to expand their economy and to be able to thrive in this unforgiving environment. Many of America’s capitalist opportunities are achieved through entrepreneurship and innovation. As more schools focus on standardized testing, they kill creativity and create an autonomous sea of students that only learn what is needed. This shows that the industry requirements have moved on while schools have stayed the same. Even with America spending the most money per student than any other country, this is a problem that requires more than just money to fix. Since the introduction of No Child Left Behind, standardized testing has become a norm in society. This has left school districts to compete for school funding at the student’s expense, as No Child Left Behind focuses on conformity and not diversity. The school system model has not adapted or adjusted ever since it was created in 1918. Some may say that the American school system is proficient since our economy is stronger than ever, however Ameican school systems are failing students as it focuses too much on standardized testing, an outdated school system, and the failure of No Child Left Behind.
Throughout American school history, the system has not changed much while the economics and industries have drastically changed. Many of the same principles are still the same since the 1900’s. Most importantly we must think how to educate our students properly to take their place in the economy of the twenty-first century. Back then your goal was to go to college after highschool, work hard and do well, and you will then be guaranteed a job. Now it is no longer the same, as many students no longer believe that formula to be true. Many students come out of college left without jobs and being in debt. The current system of education is constructed and structured for a different era. It was made right after the end of the industrial revolution, but now we live in the information age. A very drastic change in the economy, and yet our school systems has refused to adapt to it. It creates an environment where students are much like factory line workers doing repetitive standardized tests and killing their creativity. It is very surprising to see how American students compared to other countries. In 1983, Ronald Regan introduced A Nation At Risk, where it called for much needed education reform. During that time, “23 million American adults were functionally illiterate; the average achievement for high school students on standardized tests was lower than before the launch of Sputnik in 1957; and only one-fifth of 17-year old students had the ability to write a persuasive essay. Almost immediately, A Nation at Risk garnered massive media attention” (Graham). Even with the tremendous amount of media coverage it had, “the report didn’t lead to many far-reaching changes. Many of the problems identified in 1983 remain unaddressed, and stagnant student achievement continues to challenge educators and administrators” (Graham). Even now our education system can not compare to other countries. In fact, our statistics show that we are very mediocre, as we placed 38th in math and 24th in science out of 71 countries.
Now all of America’s public school system focuses only on standardized testing, as from K-12 through highschool a student will take one hundred and twelve standardized tests. (MP#1) Standardized testing has not help students achieve more. (ELAB #1) Ever since No Child Left Behind went into effect in 2002, “the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading.” (ProCon). (ELAB #2) In 2011, The National Research Council stated that they have found that, “no evidence test-based incentive programs are working: ‘Despite using them for several decades, policymakers and educators do not yet know how to use test-based incentives to consistently generate positive effects on achievement and to improve education.’” (ProCon). (ELAB #3) Researchers from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that even when students improved, “their scores on standardized tests, they don't always improve their cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention and speed” (Bidwell). (MP #2) Standardized testing completely disregards the other aspects of education. (ELAB 1) With standardized testing it eliminates a student’s ability to innovate or be creative. (ELAB #2) They are programmed to remember formulas or things that are printed on paper with not much critical or diversified thinking needed. (ELAB #3) Most importantly, standardized testing kills a student’s curiosity. Curiosity is the engine within a student that allows himself to learn on his own. It makes learning a much more enjoyable experience and does not deter a student away from educating himself on new things. (MP #3) Standardized testing is the cause of America’s “Creativity Crisis” which has dire consequences. (ELAB #1) KH Kim is an educational psychiatrist, and has tested more 270,000 applicants ranging K-12 to adults. Kim’s research has found that, “creativity rose from 1966 to 1990, but began significantly declining after then.” (Ruiz). (ELAB #2) Consequently, this may be a very detrimental issue to the future of the country as, “America has an increasingly limited number of individuals who are capable of finding and implementing solutions to problems the nation faces today...If this trend isn’t reversed soon, America will be unable to tackle the challenges of the future.” (Ruiz). (ELAB #3) Back then creativity did not seem to be important to have a stable job, but in the Information Age that we all live in, creativity and innovation is of the utmost importance. (CS) Overall, standardized testing has brought more consequences than benefits with the expense of students and the country’s future.