Education is a starting point of any human being and it begins even before a person is born. It is extremely important to have a system of education that adheres to the highest standards and teaches a person skills, which will be used in the future life. Standardized testing should not be a measure when determining an acceptance to a higher educational institution.
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When looking at a specific school called Sky view Elementary in Perris, California, it is clear that the staff is determined to better the organization and structure of learning environment. The recent changes in technology and use of personal gadgets, as well as procedures, aim to let students work with a more individualized pace. The focus on diversity and individuality greatly helps to shape the proper course of learning. The same is reflected in the ELL testing, as students are made to actively participate in the process.
The project introduces an important problem for children and their difficulties with the English language because those with lower scores are automatically separated from the others. The new rule which requires the students to participate in the testing and adjust their personal level of skills to the tests has proven greatly beneficial (Sky View Elementary, 2013). Student participation and direct involvement are beneficial from one perspective but there are some drawbacks.
The new system is greatly beneficial because the student is able to input own understanding into the testing. This would allow adjusting to their unique individuality and personal characteristics that would otherwise go undetermined with the regular testing. Also, the student teacher communication leads to better interaction and understanding of the problem. As such, the teachers can be aided by students in adjusting the testing procedures and finding ways to help students with personal problems.
One of the drawbacks of student participation is the fact that they have little or no experience in self assessment. A student can wrongfully interpret certain things about themselves, which will result in a wrong self-assessment or evaluation. In case this does happen, the teachers will adjust the testing and procedures basing them on a wrong direction, which will be even more detrimental for the student’s learning experience and outcome.
As the article titled Using Student-Involved Classroom Assessment to Close Achievement Gaps rightfully mentions several possibilities or alternatives to standardized testing. The first type relates to self assessment which will result in a better determination of what the student needs. Every person is different and even though people must be treated equally, they must not be treated the same. Everyone has their own set of circumstances and conditions that made them a certain way. It would be hard to figure out the particular reasons and moments that influenced a person but the end result is—their individuality should be an important factor in the application of any skill tests.
The second one puts more responsibility on the educators, as they must pay close attention to the development of each student. As such, the teacher will utilize the student’s skills and help them understand personal strengths and weaknesses. Even though it might seem that there are people without a talent or a specific ability to do something, everyone has a talent; it is only matter of finding out what it is. The third alternative is the matching of the assessment methods with the target or focus of each particular student. This provides more variation of testing, including multiple choice, extended written response and performance self assessments. The fourth is the proper delivery of the assessment to people which require them most.
The longer and more specialized education is the better understanding a person will have of the surrounding world and themselves. A direct delivery of certain individual criteria will allow outlining the course of education and the nuances specific to each unique individual. The fifth pertains to letting students play a major role and part in the selection of their education. The fact that everyone is treated the same is a good thing but in this situation, it is not an equality, it is a stereotypical and forceful unification of people under one criteria. To find out the talent of a person there must be much individual testing and search for unique skills (Stiggins and Chappuis, 2005).
The word “standardized” refers to a certain structure and regulation of the test that can be seen as necessary and inevitable. But, it is unclear how can someone know the real and true standards of someone else’s knowledge. The amount of information and number of possible interpretations is possibly limitless, and it would be hard to predict and support the regulations that are made up by someone in relation to another person. It is even more complex to find out what the society’s wants and needs are, and which steps must be taken to take better care of the education for a large number of people. Standardized testing cannot be accepted as the determining criteria for several reasons.
First, it eliminates individuality from the process, second it puts everyone under a common standard and third, it diminishes and wrongfully evaluates abilities of a person. Standardized testing is made up by educators and the test is administered for a large number of people. Already, this seems wrong because something that is given to such a great amount of people cannot reasonably evaluate the skill set of an individual. In the process of such testing everyone becomes one, and unique characteristics of each person disappear in the numbers.
When people are young and even when they reach adult age, there is no guarantee that they have acquired the necessary skills and abilities to cope and deal with the world and all it might offer. To find out the talent of a person there must be much individual testing and search for unique skills. Standardized testing fails to find the true abilities of a person. People who make up such tests are oriented by the majority. Every little nuance in life makes people different, so it is unrealistic to apply standardized testing that was made up by people who have not seen or known those who will be writing the test.
Sky View Elementary. (2013). Web.
Stiggins, R. and Chappuis, J. (2005). Using Student-Involved Classroom Assessment to Close Achievement Gaps. Theory into Practice, 44(1), 11-18.