ï»¿Standardized testing is a method that is widely used in elementary, middle, and high school. Data from these tests are used to improve the performance of local schools and their educational methods, as well as their teaching practices. The primary components of standardized testing are achievement and aptitude. Tests for achievement are used to measure how much knowledge a student has, and aptitude tests are designed to help predict the student’s future potential or performance. Grade school and high school students take the standardized test each year. The test is comprised of true or false, and multiple choice questions. Students are also required to write an essay according to test guidelines.
While there are widespread arguments between the critics and proponents regarding their reliability, standardized testing can be traced as far back as China’s Han dynasty. The United States first began nationwide standardized testing during World War I. In 1948 the Educational Testing Service (ETS) was established to develop a variety of standardized tests for grades kindergarten thru twelve, commonly known as K-12. In 1994 the Elementary and Secondary Education Act made standardized testing a requirement in all public schools. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed in the United States in 2001, the objective of this act is standards based education reform. A standards based education system is designed to measure the ability of each student according to a specific standard. Education reform has been a highly debated topic for more than twenty years.
Although standardized tests are widely used, a large number of educators and community leaders who are opposed to these test. Critics believe these tests have been over used, and the narrow curriculums caused by their misuse will harm teaching, as well as learning. Advocates for standardized testing argue that this type of testing is an essential key in assessing student achievement. Standardized tests are often given when a student applies for admission into a higher education program. These tests are also used to compare a large number of students from various areas. All students are given the same standardized tests in similar surroundings.