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THE CRC: STANDARDIZED TESTING



Standardized testing is essential in both measuring the quality of instruction provided by educational institutions and identify the individual needs of students, who do not all learn at the same rates. 

Not all schools operate under the same model, so educational quality is far from standard. Some schools provide education quality that exceeds global standards, while others graduate students who are borderline incompetent.

The only way to improve quality is to measure and track performance to institute meaningful reforms that increase successful outcomes for the students, who are the end users of the system. 

The push against standardized testing largely comes from teachers’ unions that seek to protect members from loss of employment related to students ability to perform adequately on the tests. 

A common argument made is that teachers prefer to teach their respective subject matters rather than take instruction time to ensure students excel on the test. Essentially, they teach the test. 

Leadership of some school districts encroach on teachers by making it a school wide effort to improve results. Making every class teach the test, whether it is a related subject or not. 

A commonsense retort is that if the teachers adequately taught the subject matters, the students would be able to perform well on the test, making the encroachments not needed. 

There are variances in performance in standardized testing that shows that certain demographic groups consistently perform better on standardized testing than their peers. 

Students from wealthier areas and backgrounds perform better on state testing as well as college entrance exams than students from more humble areas, especially underrepresented minorities. 

Therefore, some institutions are turning away from standardized testing labeling the practice as systemic racism. Because the variance in performance is seen across racial lines rather than the practice itself. 

If the pool of questions differed from each group, then there would be an argument for discrimination. The argument is some groups have access to preparation material and others may not. 

A more effective substitute has not been identified. Seems like some of these institutions are willing to see the performance gap occur in the collegiate classrooms. 

Identifying which students may need additional instruction is important. Completely eliminating standardized testing may not serve the best interests of the student or the institution. 

A more effective approach in seeking diversity in recruitment may be reducing the significance of standard testing in the admission process rather than eliminating it. 

Students knowledge can go well beyond what can be learned in a textbook, laboratory, or classroom instruction. There are applicants with real life work experience that can help shape the accepted class. 

Variances in standardized testing are largely the result of the quality of education received in their home community, which can lead to long term problems for residents.

The solution is not to hide the problems, but to use data to implement real reforms to ensure every student can compete to enter the college of their dreams or pursue the career path of their choosing.