In addition to the widespread overuse of standardized tests, there are other concerns about the effectiveness of the system. While the standardized tests may be used as an accurate assessment of a student’s performance, they have many drawbacks. First, they are perceived as unfair punishments for students. Furthermore, standardized tests often require experts in curriculum, child development, linguistics, and statistics. The results of standardized tests often provide misleading information, which can lead to spurious conclusions about educational effectiveness.
Another problem is the use of standardized achievement tests as a measure of educational quality. This method has been around for decades. In 1905, Alfred Binet devised the first standardized intelligence test, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test, and it became popular during World War I, when US servicemen were assigned to jobs on the basis of these tests. These tests allow educators to evaluate the quality of their curriculum and provide valuable teaching measures. Furthermore, standardized tests are neutral and provide evaluators with a general idea of students’ understanding of topics.
While standardized tests can be used to measure educational quality, they are more controversial when used to make consequential decisions. They are more reliable when used to determine the learning needs of students. However, if their primary purpose is to measure progress, standardized tests may not be a fair way to evaluate student learning. However, this is not to say that standardized tests should be entirely ruled out. In fact, they may be an essential part of educational evaluation.
Another problem with standardized tests is that they fail to provide meaningful comparisons between students. The items on the test are often too difficult to understand and judge in terms of their difficulty. For this reason, many educators advocate for a more personalized approach to educational testing. By creating a customized test that includes different types of questions, educators can better evaluate the quality of educational programs. So, should we be skeptical of standardized tests?
The most positive impact of standardized tests comes from peer and instructor comments. Instructors who make comments like, “Can you explain what you mean?”, can encourage students to improve their work. And when students believe that they can improve, they will often perform better on tests. There are also many other positive effects of standardized tests. For example, teachers who are rewarded for their scores are less likely to have a low level of morale, and are more likely to work together.
While standardized tests are often used to gauge student performance, they are also biased. Therefore, in order to eliminate the bias inherent in the test, future versions of these tests should pilot new test items on more diverse students. And the test construct itself should be reformed so that it is completely free of bias. But this is not enough. To truly eliminate bias in standardized tests, we need a better anti-racist approach to teaching.
Check our academic programs here.
Photo by Pixabay.com