Faulty Reasoning Behind Testing Essay

2334 words - 10 pages

Children enrolled in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Kindergarten through Second Grade, are required to take at least three major exams throughout the school year; while children enrolled in Third through Eighth Grade must take four; however, those enrolled in High School must take at least three exams in addition to other optional exams every year. The scores from these exams are used to gauge the academic competency level of students compared to their peers, teachers compared to their colleagues, and neighborhood schools compared to others, locally and globally. Test scores have become so decisive to the future of students, teachers, and schools that curriculums have become test preps rather than the teaching and application of knowledge. Monty Neill of Fairtest.Org was quoted saying, “The broadest impact is the pressure to teach to the test so that instruction narrows toward what is tested and ignores what is not” (Caref 6). The problem with this is students only learn enough to pass an exam and does not have the ability to think critically or apply their knowledge any further. This is exemplified when High School students take AP and ACT exams and score high, yet, when the COMPASS exam is given to them for College entrance they score into pre-College courses. The results of testing does not give an in-depth analysis of knowledge obtained by the student body, due to the lack of economic and social circumstances, therefore, the reasoning behind testing is faulty and should not be advocated, but discontinued.
Schools are ranked according to their exams scores, which reveal schools within the most economic prosperous communities are ranked the highest. “Student in the highest socio-economic group score the highest in the nation and almost the highest in the world” (Hainds 8). These students attend schools that are financially supported. Well written out curriculums and materials are provided before the school year begins, whereas every child have access to textbooks and technology. This is not the case for students living in poverty-stricken areas. Due to the lack of funding, students are only allowed access to several textbooks during class time, as the school’s shortage of books will not allow for each pupil to receive their own. This discourage students from afterschool studying as they do not have the proper tools on hand. Also, the lack of computer labs and materials needed for science experiments does not allow students to be engaged in their active pursuit knowledge, and denies them hands on experience and critical thinking skills so readily taken advantage of by those in economic prosperous communities. The funding received by schools in high socio-economic neighborhoods far exceed the aid given to schools in poverty stricken communities. As politics and educators continue to search for explanations for the educational achievement gap, Gardner asked the same question, but offered and answer.
I’m repeating a question that continues to be...

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