Examine the effectiveness of statewide testing programs

Choose an educational issue that is both controversial and researchable to make an argument. Be sure to offer a clear thesis, remembering that this is an essay, not just a list of random evidence, nor is it just a rant. You want to develop clear and logical reasoning as well as sufficient and reliable evidence to support your claim. Consider the breadth and width of your audience; commentary seeks to influence the greater group. Include an annotated bibliography (2-3 sources) with your essay.


Thesis: The use of standardized testing as the primary measure of student achievement in the United States is a controversial issue that is not only unfair to students but also does not accurately reflect their true abilities.

In recent years, there has been a growing concern over the use of standardized testing as the primary means of measuring student achievement in the United States. Standardized tests are often seen as an objective way to measure student learning, but research has shown that they are not an accurate reflection of a student’s abilities and can be biased against certain groups. While there are arguments in favor of standardized testing, such as the need for accountability and the ability to compare students across different schools, the negative impact on students far outweighs any potential benefits.

One of the main problems with standardized testing is that it does not take into account the many factors that can affect a student’s performance. For example, students from low-income families may not have the same access to resources and support as their more affluent peers, which can impact their ability to do well on these tests. Additionally, standardized tests do not measure other important skills that are essential for success in the real world, such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Another issue with standardized testing is that it can lead to a narrow focus on test preparation, rather than a well-rounded education. Teachers may feel pressure to “teach to the test,” which can mean sacrificing other important subjects and activities in order to focus on the material that is likely to appear on the test. This not only limits the education of the students but can also lead to burnout and stress for both students and teachers.

In conclusion, the use of standardized testing as the primary measure of student achievement in the United States is a controversial issue that has a negative impact on students and does not accurately reflect their true abilities. While there may be arguments in favor of standardized testing, such as the need for accountability, these arguments do not outweigh the negative consequences of this system.

Annotated Bibliography:

  1. Kohn, A. (2000). The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools. Heinemann. This book argues that standardized testing has a negative impact on students and schools and provides evidence to support this claim.
  2. Nichols, S. L., & Berliner, D. C. (2007). Collateral damage: How high-stakes testing corrupts America’s schools. Harvard Education Press. This book provides an in-depth analysis of the negative consequences of high-stakes testing, including the narrowing of the curriculum and the negative impact on students’ well-being.
  3. Darling-Hammond, L., & Adamson, F. (2014). Beyond the Bubble Test: How Performance Assessments Support 21st Century Learning. Jossey-Bass. This book argues for the use of performance assessments as a better alternative to standardized testing and provides examples of how these assessments can be used to measure student learning in a more meaningful way.

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