The Instigator
Intellisio
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Emilrose
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Emilrose
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 2 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 236 times Debate No: 104892
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Intellisio

Con

Standardized testing is not improving education in America.
Emilrose

Pro

Accepted. It's on Con to further show how the use of standardized testing is not improving education in America; presuming that by 'America' he/she is referring to the United States.
Debate Round No. 1
Intellisio

Con

Standardized testing is not improving education in America. Standardized testing has not improved student achievement at all. This is even proven. After No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading. May 26, 2011, National Research Council report found no evidence test-based incentive programs are working: "Despite using them for several decades, policymakers and educators do not yet know how to use test-based incentives to consistently generate positive effects on achievement and to improve education." America is not gaining anything from standardized testing. In fact, standardized testing doesn't even accurately measure the student's performance. In New Jersey, PARCC is the standardized testing used yearly. "The reading passages found in PARCC are far beyond grade levels of the students being tested, and it is difficult to believe that the evaluators were unaware of that fact. The reading difficulty level of any text depends on such qualitative variables as sequencing, language complexity, topic and theme and quantitative factors such as word and sentence length," says an EdCircuit article. Standardized tests are definitely not improving or increasing education in America. The only thing they are increasing is stress and pressure. Stress and pressure is placed on students all across the country. Many kids are pressured by their parents and believe that this testing truly contributes to what college they get into. Standardized testing is a complete waste of time. They were created to measure the academic excellence of students and what they have learned and accomplished throughout the year. Many PARCC administrators don't understand what is learned and to be expected at every grade level. We must ask ourselves, Standardized tests do not improve education so what is the point of them? In New Jersey, if you get below average for PARCC in math, you aren't allowed to advance to next math level. I repeat my statement that standardized tests do not improve education in America.
Emilrose

Pro

Opening Argument:

Standardized testing was introduced to rectify underperformance in U.S schools; that this legislation was actually made shows that there was an issue with the education system, so in order to gain any leverage in this debate, Con will have to argue for an alternative to standardized testing and/or argue that the pre-existing system was demonstrably better; that students were not underperforming beforehand, and that politicians at the time (George Bush Jr., John Boehner, Judd Gregg, Edward Kennedy, George Miller, etc.) were decidedly wrong to instate it.

Regarding the *benefits* of standardized testing, they include:

-additional support to schools judged to be specifically 'in need'.

-at a national level, improvement has been made in literacy and math.

-racial and ethnic minorities (I.E Hispanics, African Americans) have particularly displayed progress (improvement was recorded in their reading and math scores).

-43 states either showed an improvement or maintained their educational standard; which is on the contrary to what Con is arguing.

-more attention given to students with disabilities, and as a result, better performance from them.

The U.S Department of Education published this statement in reference to 'No Child left Behind Act' and the proposed improvement in education to children considered to have 'special needs':

'Some students with disabilities have never been taught academic skills and concepts, for example, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies, even at very basic levels. Yet all students are capable of learning at a level that engages and challenges them. Teachers who have incorporated grade level content standards into their instruction cite unanticipated gains in students" performance and understanding. Furthermore, some individualized social, communication, motor, and self-help skills can be practiced during activities based on the content standards'.

(1.) https://www2.ed.gov... *and* (2.) https://nceo.umn.edu..., p.14

It would also seem that the one of the primary motivations for the Act was to increase accountability among schools across the U.S; due to the academic performance among children being more effectively-measured, directly linking/assessing the academic improvement of each school with its state, increasing parental involvement, etc. (3.) http://www.edcentral.org...

As one can see in the above chart, states such as Wisconsin have seen an improvement in academic proficiency between 2002-2014.

As to the increase in parental involvement, one of the set aims of the NCLBA was to ensure that parents have more of an active and informed role in their child's education. (4.) http://publications.unidosus.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Intellisio

Con

I feel the need to state and point out that all of this development and achievement is not because of standardized testing. It is true that students are indeed progressing with parental support and guidance. Yet, what part does standardized testing play in the midst of this?
Standardized tests are unfair and discriminatory against non English speakers and students with special needs. In a Procon article it states, "English language learners take tests in English before they have mastered the language. Special education students take the same tests as other children, receiving few of the accommodations usually provided to them as part of their Individualized Education Plans (IEP)." All students receive the same test and are at different levels that others. Yet, that is sometimes not taken account of. We must understand that standardized testing is a burden on students. Students with disabilities sometimes feel as if they are not intelligent because of their scores.
There are many extra cons and defaults with standardized testing. There is a whole list! I feel like I have covered the important ones. Thank you for taking this time to debate with me. I fully respect your views, but my opinion stands strong and has not wavered.
Emilrose

Pro

Rebuttals to Cons opening argument:

'Standardized testing is not improving education in America. Standardized testing has not improved student achievement at all. This is even proved. After No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed in 2002, the US slipped from 18th in the world in math on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading. May 26, 2011, National Research Council report found no evidence test-based incentive programs are working'.

Con contends that there's evidence to suggest standardized testing is 'not improving' education within the U.S but offers no source (in the form of links) to demonstrate this; therefore, we are to take them entirely at their word without them having provided any proof for their claims and link to the quotes made.

And, as can be seen in my opening argument, the evidence points to an improvement in test scores (see previous links).

'Standardized tests are definitely not improving or increasing education in America. The only thing they are increasing is stress and pressure. Stress and pressure is placed on students all across the country. Many kids are pressured by their parents and believe that this testing truly contributes to what college they get into. Standardized testing is a complete waste of time. They were created to measure the academic excellence of students and what they have learned and accomplished throughout the year. Many PARCC administrators don't understand what is learned and to be expected at every grade level. We must ask ourselves, Standardized tests do not improve education so what is the point of them? In New Jersey, if you get below average for PARCC in math, you aren't allowed to advance to next math level. I repeat my statement that standardized tests do not improve education in America'.

Here, Con only repeats what they have previously stated-but again without providing any source for their argument(s). Con states that standardized testing is increasing 'stress and pressure' on students, but this is simply an opinion; not a fact, because there is no information, within the context of this debate, supporting it.

Rebuttals to Cons closing argument + my own closing argument:

'I feel the need to state and point out that all of this development and achievement is not because of standardized testing. It is true that students are indeed progressing with parental support and guidance. Yet, what part does standardized testing play in the midst of this?'

This is a fairly simple question to answer; more parental support and guidance was a pre-requisite within the NCLBA; the very act that Con is arguing against. Con also weakens their argument by acknowledging development and achievement within the U.S education system.

'Standardized tests are unfair and discriminatory against non English speakers and students with special needs. In a Procon article it states, "English language learners take tests in English before they have mastered the language. Special education students take the same tests as other children, receiving few of the accommodations usually provided to them as part of their Individualized Education Plans (IEP)." All students receive the same test and are at different levels that others'.

Given that standardized tests set a specific standard and are thus objective, the contention that they are 'unfair and discriminatory' is wholly incorrect; if anything, standardized testing seeks to shorten the literacy gap between non-English speakers and English speakers-and actually helps non-English speakers progress to a decent level of English, increasing their chances of getting good all-round grades in the future, which as a result, enhances their potential for university education *and* career opportunities.

In regards to children categorized as 'special needs', in my opening argument, I provided sources which record an improvement in their educational development.

'Yet, that is sometimes not taken account of. We must understand that standardized testing is a burden on students. Students with disabilities sometimes feel as if they are not intelligent because of their scores.
There are many extra cons and defaults with standardized testing. There is a whole list! I feel like I have covered the important ones. Thank you for taking this time to debate with me. I fully respect your views, but my opinion stands strong and has not wavered'.

Con reiterates what they've already written about children with disabilities but, once again, fails to provide any sources. As I have previously stated, test results among those with disabilities has improved. The NCLBA, as with involving and improving the educational development of non-U.S citizens and racial minorities, also outlines specific ways to assist children with special needs and ensure that they are not neglected, and, are given the opportunity for advancement. The introduction of the NCLBA involvement the amendment of a number of other Acts, including the 'Individuals with Disabilities Education Act'. (5.) http://www.ldonline.org..., see 'NCLB and IDEA: Better Together'.

Due to Con not listing any sources for their argument, and and the fact that they ignored certain points from my argument (I.E my question regarding an alternative to standardized testing, my argument regarding the educational improvements of children overall *and* children with special needs, etc.), prospective voters should vote PRO.

Thanks to Con for instigating and completing this debate, it was enjoyable.

Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Unstobbaple 1 week ago
Unstobbaple
Great start Intellsio; and welcome to DDO. Try this one on her after 10 debates (if you notice she has over 100). For god's sake at some spacing so it's not a wall of text!
Posted by godofwolves 2 weeks ago
godofwolves
If we judged a fish on it's ability to climb a tree it will spend it's entire life thinking it's dumb
Posted by Unstobbaple 2 weeks ago
Unstobbaple
Click that link. Mr Oliver is fking hilarious.
Posted by Emilrose 2 weeks ago
Emilrose
I have no particular opinion on the matter.

'Hangouts'? I can't tonight :P
Posted by Unstobbaple 2 weeks ago
Unstobbaple
Yeah, if this is his first account you'll fk him up. The standardized testing have cause problems here. It's actually lead to a lot of 'teacher cheating' since raises are actually tied to test grades often? I'm not clear if on the balance it's done some good but it's definitely been very controversial out here. Hang on, I'll send you a video of a Brit with some good thoughts on it.

Hangouts?
Posted by Emilrose 2 weeks ago
Emilrose
We'll see if they actually make an argument first.
Posted by Unstobbaple 2 weeks ago
Unstobbaple
You're going down on this one Em's. Teach to the test is like the teacher motto in the States since Bush's bs no child left behind thing.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 week ago
dsjpk5
IntellisioEmilroseTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Unstobbaple 1 week ago
Unstobbaple
IntellisioEmilroseTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Sourcing obs goes to Con. I thought Con's strongest arguments were in the first few sentences opening round but there was no sourcing and no research to suggest that the decline was related directly to the testing. Pro was able to connect improvements directly with standardized testing. There were a few quotes indicating the lack of evidence for or strongly for the efficacy of testing but these amounted to complaints . With multiple examples and refuted Con objections I am left with an on the balance improvement. Pro called Con on multiple assertions that were presented without evidence. While Pro responded to Con's rebuttals effectively Con dropped points. Arguments to Pro.