What Role Should Standardized Testing Play in Texas' Public Education System?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By drelove
Words 10323
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What role should standardized testing play in Texas' public education system?
The methods by which children are educated and academically measured in Texas have evolved over the past few decades, due to federal and state directed education policies. In an effort to establish accountability and improve the nation's competitiveness on a global scale, standardized testing has become a driving component of curricula nationwide. Almost every state, including Texas, governs its public schools under a national policy directive known as the "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB). The NCLB requires all states to utilize assessments to determine and report if a school has made adequate yearly progress (AYP) in the proficiency levels of all students. This is a relatively recent shift from local control of schools to centralized governance which is intended to improve education and eliminate harmful disparities in education quality (Ricci 342). Instead of school districts determining education standards, the state and federal governments provide the policy direction. One method to assess education performance and compliance with the centralized policy is the use of accountability measures - i.e., standardized tests. The NCLB, coupled with state policy, is intended to decrease inequality and set an objective measurement in place where school districts, schools, teachers, and even students can be held accountable for their progress or lack thereof. However, there are arguments from opponents of standardized testing claiming that test-driven curricula are harmful to the needs of a democratic society, and that testing discriminates against minorities by widening the education achievement gap (Hursh 612). It is the intention of this research paper to investigate this claim and the claims of proponents of standardized testing by analyzing what role standardized testing should…...

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