An Obsession

2950 words, 12 pages

Intro Sample...

For many years, accountability and standardized testing has dominated the realm of education. It was thought that accountability would help drive education and boost student performance. Standardized testing is the way they chose to measure this increased student achievement. Placing high target goals, like the goal of 100% proficiency on schools across the nation, is thought to motivate academic excellence. However, studies have shown that the accountability measures being implemented are highly ineffective. While it is true test scores on standardized tests have improved, these scores may not actually be as significant as they seem. RAND education notes, “Excessive practice on test-like exercises can increase performance on the test... View More »

Body Sample...

NCLB is based on a defective system. Throughout the years, the weaknesses of NCLB and its accountability measures can be seen more and more. One of the biggest points of controversy about NCLB was that it called for all students to be at a level of proficiency by 2014. That gave just over ten years to have every single student to test at a proficient level. This is where the accountability measures of NCLB turned standardized testing into an obsession.
NCLB has greatly influenced the infatuation with testing. Under NCLB, the pressure placed on schools is enormous, and the consequences for not meeting expectations are far too drastic. In a situation schools fail to meet these expectations, “[…] teachers and administrators could lose their jobs or, in the worst-case scenario, the whole place could be shut down” (Webley). With consequences like these, it makes sense as to why such a tremendous amount of focus is placed on testing. The insecurity of one’s job is a feeling that daunts countless people due to the fact that there are fewer opportunities in today’s failing job market. Since these tests play a major role in the lives of teachers and administrators, the amount of time spent on preparing students for tests increased. Standardized testing is supposed to help schools perform better and measure their performance, but all it is doing is holding schools far too accountable for meeting standards, therefore increasing attention for standardized testing.
The obsession over testing that was sparked by NCLB has many problems that have resonated over the years. Cheating ...

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