The Instigator
TheSquadBoss
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Chris12
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

Resolved: Standardized test scores accurately reflect the academic value of students.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Chris12
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,109 times Debate No: 13761
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

TheSquadBoss

Con

Resolved: Standardized test scores accurately reflect the academic value of students.

As the Neg/Con side of this debate I strongly disagree with this resolution and will tell why. Before I begin with my opening statements I will first establish a criteria for victory and define a few terms. In order to win I must prove that standardized testing does not/cannot provide an accurate reflection of a student's academic value. As for the Pro they will win only if they can prove that the majority of standardized testing does infact show an accurate representation of a students academic ability. To merely prove that standardized testing is good will not constitue a victory for PRO.

Deffinitions
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Accurately:free from error or defect; consistent with a standard, rule, or model; precise; exact.

Reflect: to serve to cast or bring

Academic: Pertaining to traditional or liberal education rather than vocational education.

Value: relative worth, merit, or importance

source:dictionary.com

Contention 1-Standardized tests are not consistent: If something is not consistent how can it be expected to give back an accurate reflection of a childs academic value? The following is a direct quote from the National Center for Fair Testing-"A test is completely reliable if you would get exactly the same results the second time you administered it. All existing tests have "measurement error." This means an individual's score may vary from day to day due to testing conditions or the test-taker's mental or emotional state. As a result, many individual's scores are frequently wrong." With scores fluctuating and changing from time to time merely depending on ones emotional state how at all can we use them to rank students.?

Contention 2-The "Luck" factor: With only A,B,C, and D as your options even if you don't know the material there is a 25% chance you'll get it right even if you took a random guess. Becuase so few tests have a free response option test takers are limmited down to just four options and one is right. Free response actually makes one think and if you don't know it randomly circling a bubble won't help you any.

Contention 3- Test atmosphere: When testing comes along a huge amount of pressure is attached to it. Just knowing that if you fail you may not be able to get into college was a thought so frightening that a young girl commited suicuide in fear that she would do poorly. Testing atmosphere hinders students ability to think clearly. Often children overthink questions and get them wrong even if they are simple problems they could have solved with ease on a normal day.

Lets review: # 1 standardized testing is unconsistent thus proving it does not give back an accurate reflection of a students academic value. # 2 With such a high luck factor who knows how much you really knew or just guessed on. # 3 with pressure levels through the roof kids often overthink problems and "choke" hindering them from doing there best.

Best of luck to who ever decides to accept.
I will be debating this topic in a few months so feed back is appreciated.
Please vote CON/NEG!
Chris12

Pro

Pro: Standardized test scores accurately reflect the skills a student possesses.
Very nice topic to debate upon.

As the pro of Standardized testing, I believe the tests do accurately demonstrate how much a student has learned throughout a certain time period. I will point out my counter arguments in numerical order so that it can be clear towards the voter.

1. Consistency- If a student is knowledgeable of the material being administered in the test, then there is absolutely no reason to have a major difference in scores the first, second, or even third time the test is taken.

2. The "Luck" Factor- There is with no doubt that a student can guess an answer out of four choices when the test administered is a multiple choice test. But let us not forget that out of those four choices there are two wrong answers that the professional test makers create and the other two are very similar to one another. Hence, a student will have to know the material on the test so that he or she can make an educated guess. In regards to free response, a student will have to know the material being tested in order to have high results which makes a Standardized Test completely accurate in determining the academic value of a student.

3. Test Atmosphere: Pressure is just a feeling a student has that arouses from the thought of failing. If a student is well prepared then he or she doesn't feel as much pressure as a student who did not study for an exam. The Set's is without a doubt a test that measures the academic abilities of a student. Many students feel pressure because of the expectations of colleges. Many of these students who feel pressure often do well in tests. The feeling of pressure is easily dealt with if a student is confident and has studied the material that is going to be administered.

4. Standardized Tests are very beneficial towards providing teachers with a student's current level of achievement, testing the students academic value. Stan Jones, states in his article "The Neutralization of Benefits in Standardized Testing", that "They can be used for assessment, the weighing of an individual student's abilities to provide better teaching". If a teacher knows how a student is doing, he or she can help to improve their skills and the standardized tests are accurate in determining a students academic standing.

Source Used: http://eserver.org...

Best of Luck!
Please Vote for the Pro Side of Testing!!!
Debate Round No. 1
TheSquadBoss

Con

I thank my opponent for excepting this debate.

1. My opponent's first arguement was that if a student is knowledgeable his test results will be consistent. I don't know where my opponent is going with this point. I provided an expert quote saying that the test results varried and were not consitent all my opponent did was say that they were in response.

2. In response to my second contention which I entitled "The Luck Factor" my opponent said that one still needed to know a little just to make an educated guess. Even if they are making "Educated Guesses" (which at the end of the day are still just guesses) you still do not have a full grasp of the material and are still just guessing.

3. My opponent said that test atmosphere is normal and if a student is prepared they will be fine. For some students being prepared will make them feel "fine" but for some students even undertsanding and having a full grasp of the material isn't enough. Many students still "choke" under pressure and can't demeonstrate an undertsanding of the material simply becuase there scared.

4. My opponent said that standardized testing is a good representation of a students academic value and also a good representation of the teachers. I belive I have already disproved this point. Standardized testing is to inaccurate to be used to represent a student or even a teacher.

I thank you all and urge you all to vot CON!
Chris12

Pro

Let's Continue

1. If a student is well aware of the subject being tested upon and has 3 or 4 different versions of the test, then there should be no reason for him or her to have inconsistent scores. It makes no sense and in response to the quote you used, "The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences issued a report in 1999 from
its Board on Testing and Assessment. The report found that educational tests generally do provide
dependable and valuable information about student achievement". The tests are significant in providing information on how the student is doing and what material he or she has mastered.

2. The argument for this debate is that "Standardized test scores accurately reflect the academic value of students", now if a student gets a question wrong that does not mean the test is inaccurate it just means the student doesn't know the material. If a student guesses a question and gets it right, what's the chance that he will do that for the entire test. Hence, Standardized test scores are completely reliable in determining where a child stands in terms of academics.

3. Standardized test scores are accurate because it determines how much a child knows on their own. Students are given enough time to overcome pressure and complete their exam. If a student is under pressure for an exam, how will he or she feel when its time to move on to college and the work field where fear of pressure is not an excuse.

4. Standardized test scores do reflect how much a child knows and where he or she should be helped. It helps teachers to determine how effectively they are teaching and where they need to focus a bit more on. The Great Schools staff states, "Most experts agree that the best tests are ones that measure what students know in relation to what they are supposed to have learned. These tests are called "criterion referenced" or "standards based." Tests like these, especially when they include writing or problem solving, are useful for both teachers and parents to make sure students are on track for their grade level." This quote backs up the fact that Standardized test scores accurately reflect where a child stands in terms of academic values.

Thank you and vote for PRO please.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSquadBoss

Con

I thank my opponent for his timely response.

1. Standardized test scores are just unconsistant I don't know how many other ways I can say this inorder for my opponent to undertsand. If a student takes 4 different tests he will get four different results. I can see why my opponent would think otherwise but he is mistaken. I have already met the burden of proof by providng a quote from an organization that strives to make tests fair that agrees with me.

2. As far as the luck factor goes my opponent's responses have changed throughout this debate. At frist he said something about educated guesses and now he is saying something about how "they can't guess throughout the entire test". I concur that the chances of a student being able to guess through an entire test are low however the fact that it is still easy to guess correctly on a handful ruins the test accuracy. The following hypothetical should explain it all: You do not pass a standardized test becuase you got 1 question wrong and now you must go to summer school. The guy next to you passed becuase he "got lucky" and guessed right. Asside from the test your grades were better than this students but becuase of a lucky guess you know have to go through summer school and he does not.

3. My opponent keeps saying that if you know the material there is no reason to feel nervous. My opponent may feel this way about tests that he has taken but that is his own oppinion. Many students who do know the material well still test poorly just becuase there nervous. I agree that perhaps this is silly of them but never the less it occurs and affects their score negatively.

4. My opponents last point has fluctated through the coarse of this debate but I undertsand it to be: "Standardized tests can help determine what areas a student needs help in." I disagree entirely. There are simply too many variables that affect a students score to think that a standardized test could be used as any sort of judgment tool. Suppose a student who does know the material well is going through tough times at home this will greatly affect his score merely becuase he is psyhcologically unstable at the moment. Let us not judge students academically through 1 test but through what they have demonstrated through out the year.

Once again I thank my opponent.

I urge you all to vote CON.
Chris12

Pro

First of all if you mean inconsistent in terms of a huge difference in results you are entirely wrong. Again, it will make no sense in the world for you to have major differentials between tests of the same subject.

1. Bruce Whitehead, author of "Using standardized test results as an instructional guide", states in his academic journal "One school was able to use standardized test scores to improve its curriculum as well as its educational policies." Extremely beneficial for schools and teachers are these tests. They provide a understanding of where a student stands. To my opponent, Tests are constantly worked upon to achieve perfection. Students themselves learn their weaknesses from examinations and use exams as a way to improve their academic standards.

2. My opponent does not seem to understand where im going with the educated guess respone. What I am saying is that students who do guess on tests do not do it for every single question and pass. Behind every guess is some strategy and something from a lesson must seem familiar to the student to choose his or her answer. Having to go to summer school as my opponent says, is not a curse. If you have to go to summer school is because you do not fully understand the material and your friend who made his guess and got it right most likely had some understanding of the question. Your friend had to have some background knowgledge of the material for him to even get close to passing the examination.

3. Teachers throughout the course of the year give students information as to what would be on standardized examinations and what to look out for. To those students who still feel pressure at the time of the test, I don't know what to say but we cannot just stop the tradtion and excellence of standardized testing for a handful of students who most of the time get through pressure with some counseling and help. I am happy you agree that it's silly.

4. Scores could with no doubt be used to improve teaching in the class rooms. The overall results of the class determine where they stand in general. Individually, students can be placed in classes with students who are also having a defiency in some aspect of the curriculum. Standardized testing proves to be efficient, not perfect of course, but a way to help students improve their academic value.

Thanks to my opponent for this interesting debate.

Vote for PRO!!! Good Luck

4.
Debate Round No. 3
TheSquadBoss

Con

I thank my oppenent for a great debate and a timely response.

1. Here we are agin debating the same thing in contention 1. My opponent does not undertsand/or cannot comprehend my first point. Although to him there is no reason for results to change if a student knows the material there is and I have already given evidence to support this. Perhaps re-stating it will help my opponent realizing regardless of his take on it the actuall results prove me correct: National Center for Fair Testing -"A test is completely reliable if you would get exactly the same results the second time you administered it. All existing tests have "measurement error." This means an individual's score may vary from day to day due to testing conditions or the test-taker's mental or emotional state. As a result, many individual's scores are frequently wrong." I hope this has helped my opponent understand and realize that I am correct.

2. "The Luck Factor" my opponent has repeatedly said that even if a student guess's correctly he needed to know some information. This is not inherently true. Even if a student closes his eyes and randomly circles A, B, C, or D there is a large 25% chance he will get the question right regardless of what he knew or if he made an "Educated guess" (which like I said earlier is still just a guess). I am not saying that students are going through tests guessing on every problem getting every one correct, but with such a high chance of getting one right if you do guess makes them unrealiable.

3. Pressure, again another point my opponent has not understood through the entirity of this debate. My opponent said: "I don't know what to say but we cannot just stop the tradtion and excellence of standardized testing for a handful of students who most of the time get through pressure with some counseling and help." the debate is not to stop standardized testing but wether or not it accurately represent's a student's academic values. It is more than just a "handful" of students who do poorly under pressure. With so much on the line in standardized tests pressure and nerves are actually quite common. For some students there nerves get the best of them causing them to do poorly on the tests. To corrolate this with the resolution so my opponent can better undertsand: Pressure created by the importance and atmosphere of the test causes students to overthink questions causing them to get them wrong or "choke" under pressure. The tests are not really becuase in the cases of certain students the pressure they create is to much and the students un up doing poorly although they may have known the material thus giving an inaccurate representation.

4. My opponent has said that standardized testing can be used to determine areas that students need help in. In response I say the following: This is untrue, standardized testing can give many false readings. There are simply too many variables behing the score recieved on a standardized test to use it in order to judge areas that a student needs help on.

I thank my opponent again for a truely though provoking debate.
I urge all parties voting to vote CON.
Chris12

Pro

Closing Argument:

In my closing argument I will list some reasons for why standardized testing is an efficient way to reflect the academic value of students.
1. Gardner states "achievement data from tests provide teachers with valuable information to improve classroom and student learning". This is yet another quote that supports my claim that the tests to help to improve academics in class rooms.

2. Standardized testing is the best way to know how a student is doing. If schools were to go onto one on one testing it will incredibly time consuming. Also, my opponent said something about a child having problems at home. Believe it or not, a teacher can know if something is wrong from the results of an examination.

4. Standardized tests are also helpful in providing students with the pressure of taking education seriously. Many students want to go to college and they know that in order to get into a respectable college they have to score decent grades in the SAT. This "pressure" will cause them to take education seriously and will be beneficial in the long run.

Now, I want to leave my opponent and all voters with this quote, "While there are many purposes that can be served by assessment, they are all secondary to the improvement of student learning."

Thanks to my opponent for this great debate and I wish all voters will vote Pro. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chris12 6 years ago
Chris12
Understand that he provides both sides, I don't care about his opinion and what he thinks but he did provide reasons as to why it is considered efficient.
Posted by TheSquadBoss 6 years ago
TheSquadBoss
uuuugggh, i understand the debate is over......that dosen't mean i can't point out your flaws. If you actually read the article you would have known that in his conclusion he says it is not usefull and provides flawed results.
Posted by Chris12 6 years ago
Chris12
I don't know what article you read but it does support the benefits of standardized tesing and gives useful information regarding it. The debate is over, this is voting period. If you want to continue debating this topic open up another debate. Again the article's name is the Neutralization of the Benefits of Standardized Testing, the author gives both sides.
Posted by TheSquadBoss 6 years ago
TheSquadBoss
thats irrelevant you took it out of context
Posted by Chris12 6 years ago
Chris12
The quote I chose supported my claims.
Posted by TheSquadBoss 6 years ago
TheSquadBoss
after finally reading the paper by Stan Jones i found that it was against standardized testing.
Posted by Chris12 6 years ago
Chris12
I agree, school performance should be tracked and what better way than to have students be tested so that teachers and principals can know what subject students need help on. Standardized testing ,personally, is efficient in giving teachers information they need to raise academic performance in classrooms.
Posted by Rodriguez47 6 years ago
Rodriguez47
I still think theres not enough standardized tests. America needs to pull out of the sh*t hole and legalize tracking for all public schools. Students should be within range of their peers so they all learn at the same pace. Using online courses is BS. (from experience; if i need to ask a question theres no teacher or any assistance on all of courses iv'e taken before, but thats just me.)
Posted by Chris12 6 years ago
Chris12
No, I actually did not. I got it out of one of my sources but I used it because of its meaning and the impression it left upon me.
Posted by TheSquadBoss 6 years ago
TheSquadBoss
just out of curiosity did you make up that quote at the end?
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Chris12
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