File - Kendra D. Clark

Description: The teacher works with others to create
environments that support individual and collaborative learning,
and that encourage positive social interaction, active
engagement in learning, and self motivation.
Rationale: I chose this standard mainly because it encourages
positive social interaction with classmates about the different
issues in education that are going on right now. The research
motivates us to be engaged and learn about the many
controversial things in our future careers.
Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the
mid-1800s. Their use skyrocketed after 2002's No Child Left Behind Act
(NCLB) mandated annual testing in all 50 states. US students slipped from
18th in the world in math in 2000 to 31st place in 2009, with a similar
decline in science and no change in reading. Failures in the education
system have been blamed on rising poverty levels, teacher quality,
tenure policies, and increasingly on the pervasive use of standardized
-Proponents argue that standardized tests are a fair and objective measure of student ability,
that they ensure teachers and schools are accountable to taxpayers, and that the most
relevant constituents – parents and students – approve of testing.
-Opponents say the tests are neither fair nor objective, that their use promotes a narrow
curriculum and drill-like "teaching to the test," and that excessive testing undermines
America's ability to produce innovators and critical thinkers.
Different types of students in different
regions can be easily compared by
using a common platform
Test grading is computerized, leaving
little to no room for human error
No possibility of bias/discrimination
Focuses on “essential” content and skills
Federal funds are normally only given to schools who
perform well
Memorizing facts, formulas, and steps does not
accurately show a student’s ability
Teachers must “teach to the test” almost all year round,
narrowing the curriculum and hindering in-depth learning
Competition among schools and school districts
Causes severe stress on the younger students, who worry
about how well they will perform or what effect the test
will have on them
Older students do not take them seriously because they
know it will not affect their grade
Discriminatory against non-English speakers and students
with special needs
Emotional intelligence or creativity not taken into
Has not improved student achievement
It is expensive, and costs have increased since NCLB (No
Child left Behind), shortening state education budgets
Multiple choice is an inadequate assessment
Used to reward or punish teachers
Open-ended questions are graded by underpaid
temporary workers with no educational training
This picture shows average test scores based on just family income. Coincidence?
On Mar. 14, 2002, the Sacramento Bee reported that "test-related jitters,
especially among young students, are so common that the Stanford-9 exam
comes with instructions on what to do with a test booklet in case a student
vomits on it.”
The current use of No. 2 pencils on standardized tests is a holdover from the
1930s through the 1960s, when scanning machines scored answer sheets by
detecting the electrical conductivity of graphite pencil marks
Finland topped the international education (PISA) rankings from 2001-2008, yet
has "no external standardized tests used to rank students or schools
A three-year study completed in Oct. 2010 by the Gesell Institute of Human
Development showed that increased emphasis on testing is “making children
feel like failures now as early as PreK"
Is the Use of Standardized Test Improving
Education in America? (November 1, 2013)
Retrieved from
(T. Tracy, personal communication, April 12,
2014 and February 8, 2014 for Teacher
Interview Project).
Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing
(September 26, 2011) Retrieved from