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Standardized and Non-Standardized Testing
Transcript of Standardized and Non-Standardized Testing
Both methods of testing do have their benefit. As a future teacher, I prefer to have alternative assessments be the basis for promotion between grades, and standardized tests be a deciding factor only when a student has to move from elementary to middle to high school, and from high school to graduation. Aside from those critical points in education, it is more important that our children learn how to implement their knowledge in real world situations, especially when dealing with minority and children in low socio-economic school zones. These are the students who we as educators need to encourage and inspire, and all to often standardized tests do not take into account these students individual progresses, and their interpretation's of knowledge and intelligence.
Standardized Testing can be defined in many ways. For the public, the most common definition is more of a "word of mouth" construct than an all encompassing, concrete definition of the concept.
If you ask most parents who have young children what standardized tests are, they will give you a definition similar to "A test designed to determine how much a child has learned in school by asking multiple questions every year."
What is Standardized Testing?
According to Pearson Education's 2003 Assessment Report, standardized tests are Standards based tests are developed by the state and must align to academic standards and set performance levels to identify each student into one of 3 categories : Basic, Proficient, and Advanced.
What is Non-Standardized Testing?
As with it's counterpart, Non-standardized assessments can have both a concrete definition and a public definition. They are usually similar, but can also be vastly different in terms of comprehension and perspective on the form of testing.
In the words of a parent of a Sea Castle Elementary School Student, "Non-standardized tests are the tests that teachers create to see how well the students learned the lesson they were taught."
According to am article entitled Education Assessment: Reassessed. Non- Standardized and Alternative Assessments is the traditional form of Assessment, where teachers construct questions, evaluate student responses, assign and check homework, and informally assess student progress everyday.
Pro's and Con's of Standardized Testing
Standardized Tests are a benefit because:
-They have measurable results
-The results are easily integrated into curriculum
-Results are readily available
-Testing and grading process is low cost
-Results are easily generalized
It is for these reasons that it is an easy choice for educational lawmakers to favor standardized tests. The ease of access, grading, and integration make it the first choice for generalized education in America. It is also why standardized testing has become villainous in America, almost like a scapegoat for all that is wrong with American education. Although the tests are great for measuring general concepts, it does not take into account a students cultural foundation and the fact that not all concepts are universal.
Standardized Tests are not a benefit because:
-They do not account for external factors in learning
-They are culturally biased
-Can be used incorrectly & fail students who would otherwise pass
Only tests which students are better at answering questions, not if they can apply solutions.
Pro's and Con's of Non-Standardized Testing
Alternative Assessments are a benefit because:
-They provide more accurate results of each students progress
-They can objectively provide a basis for cultural teaching practices
-They are less intimidating to the student
-They can provide teachers better results on focus area's and improvement points
Alternative Assessments are not a benefit because:
-They cannot provide a wide-spread standard
-Grading is usually subjective to the teacher's interpretations
-It is hard to generate curriculum based on more abstract assessment methods.
More teachers advocate alternative assessments to be used as a form of qualitative testing for students because it can be used to assess students progress and comprehension, however because they are so hard to generalize to a wide range of students, without making changes for schools in different regions, most educational lawmakers prefer not to use these methods.
How to implement both practices in Public Schools
To effectively implement the use of standardized testing in schools, it is important to create at least 3 different types of tests. There must be a version of the test designed specifically for students who speak English as a 2nd language, as well as for students who live in low socio-economic school districts. There should also be a version used to assess children who live in rural areas versus more heavily populated area's
To effectively implement the use of Alternative Testing methods in schools, there would have to be trainings for all teachers to learn effective grading techniques, target subjects, and a scale of improvement that accurately measured a students progress with the most important academic goals for that grade level.
"Assessment & Evaluation." Teachers College Record P2494 107.11 (2001): 2494-498. ID Number:11835. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <tcrecord.org/library>
Romberg, Thomas A. Reform in School Mathematics and Authentic Assessment. Albany: State University of New York, 1995. Print.
"Fundamentals of Standardized Testing." Pearson Education Assessment Report (2003): n. pag.3 Print.
Coelho, Carl, Mark Ylvisaker, and Lyn S. Turkstra. "Nonstandardized Assessment Approaches." Seminars in Speech and Language 26.04 (2005): 223-41. Print.
Holmes, Sarah E. "Standardized Testing and The No Child Left Behind Act: A Failed Attempt at Reform." Keats Sparrow Writing Award Winner (2009): n. pag. Print.
"Charlene Turner, Mother of a 3rd Grade Student." Personal interview. 11 Oct. 2013.
By: Emmylee Rousseau