Thursday, September 26, 2019

Student Testing in Elementary Schools in America Essay

Student Testing in Elementary Schools in America - Essay Example The curriculum as of today is far ahead of what the school system was earlier. From learning by rote, now the child is allowed more interaction and freedom to gain knowledge from sources other than the school. The curriculum guides and text books are chosen today by the state and they reflect the State's learning standard and benchmarks for a given grade level. To gauge the progress of a child, there are tests to determine the adequate yearly progress which have to fulfill certain standardized goals by which States and school districts assess the child's progress academically.( Armstrong Thomas, 1987) When there are about twenty or thirty children of diverse learning needs in a class, the academic strengths and weaknesses of a child are most evident during tests. This is referred to as MAP or measures of academic progress. Tests are not an absolute indication of the child's progress or capacity for knowledge. The scoring process is a comparison of the child's responses with his or her peers. Instead of providing a statistical comparison of the child's abilities, it would be better to focus on the level of the skills that the child has acquired, instead of assessing the results of a child's test with a checklist of skills that are expected in a particular grade (Chris Shera, 2007). It is during interpretative question tests that disconnect between classroom activities and results in the end of grade tests required, is evident. Students are not empowered to study anything outside the requisite classroom curriculum. The program needs a balanced literary approach to maximize the child's ability to view tests in positive (Kosar, 2005) fashion. Then an improvement will be seen in the standardized reading and language test scores. The downside of testing : It is important to know that test results can go wrong for a variety of reasons. We can actually question the validity of the entire test result for many reasons. Some of these are elucidated below. 1. Most tests reward experience (Dunn, Rita and Dunn Kenneth, 1978). A child who has had repeated practice at a certain skill will naturally do it with a lot more ease than a child who has not had the benefit of frequent opportunities to do the same . 2. Children from cultural and socio economic minority groups are prone to poor performance on tests for the simple reason that the child may not relate to the subject comprehensively. For example, a child who does not speak English at home does not automatically think in that language and hence suffers when he is supposed to understand the nuances of a subject taught in English. 3. Children can be intimidated by the very prospect of a test at a younger age. The child's performance can suffer due to just the thought of doing a test. 4. Some children are not clued into writing within a particular time frame- especially in elementary schools - and dawdle over the test without finishing it. This does not mean that the child does not know the answer. 5. Some deterrents to academic progress could be a host of conditions that disrupt the normal learning process. These could range from language disorders, learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and

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