Debate Rounds (3)
Let me start off by saying that I grew up in a household who's income was in education, so I do know what testing can do to both teachers, parents, and students alike.
What is the effect of testing on teachers?
First, testing puts an unfair amount of pressure on educators. They fear that if their students' test results are poor, that they themselves will be blamed for it. This is why teachers are often very conservative with their teaching in the classroom - they know that fun and games will not be what the final exams are made up of. So, they hold back from doing things exciting in the classroom, that have the potential to really educate students - and, instead, do bookwork and other such work because this is really what the tests are. No fun and games.
Also, testing causes teachers to rush with their teaching. Instead of taking time to really educate the students, they hurry to teach everything that may be included on these tests. They don't spend quality time educating their students; instead, they rush to make certain that everything on tests has been - somewhat - taught.
So which is better - students who really understand what they are doing, or students who somewhat get the subject they are being taught and just barely pass - or fail - tests?
What effect do tests have on parents?
Testing doesn't have as big an effect on parents, but it can cause them to have anxiety. They realize that their child is bright; however, they failed the final exam in one class - but made acceptable grades in this class throughout the year. The only reason that the child failed is because he/she has a slight fear of tests, and this anxiety caused he/she not to do so hot.
Parents are then caught up in this mess; do I let my child go on, or must I hold them back another year? I believe that testing puts an unfair amount of anxiety on parents of both smart and not-so-smart children.
What effect do tests have on students?
The big one.
First, phobia of tests is at high numbers in the student population. These students fear the results they may get back in the mail: did I exceed, or meet, or fail?
I believe that testing does not show true student records. They may have been bright in that one particular class, but fail the test due to anxiety or other such factors. And, another thing: outside factors, such as one's home life, parents, etc. may have a huge impact on how students do on tests.
Say that a student's parents are in the midst of a divorce, and the final exams are about to occur. Say that on the morning of the exam, this student's father hit his mother and drove away; the student may never see his father again. Do you honestly believe that this student is going to give as much effort on a test as other students who's home situation is fine?
No; and if it were me, I could care less about taking a test.
So, in my opinion, testing puts an unfair amount of anxiety on teachers, parents, and students alike. Teachers may not teach their subjects wholly. Parents may fear the first of their child and get caught up in the midst of an emotional situation: do I allow my child to go on, or must I hold them back? And students may have testing anxiety, or may experience other outside factors that are affecting them poorly on tests. Testing does not show true student ability.
I am against testing; I have seen the effect it can have on everyone - teachers, parents, and students alike.
novovreme forfeited this round.
This is not much of a debate - but I will state some of my personal beliefs on the negative effects of standardized testing.
1. No improvements - whatsoever.
The stated goal of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was
"An act to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind."
No child left behind - but since it was passed, the US education system has been left behind. When this legislature was signed, the US ranked 18th in math. In 2009 - seven short years later - the US had fallen to number 31. A similar drop occurred in science; reading scores have not changed quite so much.
I am arguing that if the stated goal of No Child Left Behind - the program the jump started standardized testing - is to do what it says, it has not succeeded. In the same way, kids aren't succeeding as a whole. And the US education system is not succeeding, much less meeting the standards set before our younger generation.
The USA recently ranked "average" among other world leaders in comparison to test scores.
The large implementation of standardized testing has proved to be a drawback to this nation.
2. What is meaningful?
Standardized testing does not measure what makes education meaningful. Gerald W. Bracey, PhD, a late education researcher, once stated that such tests cannot measure, "creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self-awareness, self-discipline, leadership, civic-mindedness, courage, compassion, resourcefulness, sense of beauty, sense of wonder, honesty, integrity."
These are really what kick-starts a student's interest in learning. Tests do not measure this.
3. Drill 'n kill.
A five-year study by the University of Maryland found that, ""the pressure teachers were feeling to 'teach to the test'" since NCLB (No Child Left Behind) was leading to "declines in teaching higher-order thinking, in the amount of time spent on complex assignments, and in the actual amount of high cognitive content in the curriculum."
This quality is important to me - that students get what they are learning, and understand it, instead of them remembering it for the tests and then forgetting it over summer break and the years to come.
4. Science, social studies, and the arts?
A 2007 study done across the nation found that 44% of school districts were cutting time on subject areas such as science, social studies, and the arts by an average of 145 minutes per week. Why? To make time for reading and math - the majority of what makes up standardized tests.
Science, social studies, and the arts should not be reduced in importance to students - even younger students. Science helps them understand the world around us. Social studies increases their understanding of the governments, cultures, and peoples of the world. The arts - art, music, etc. - can spark creativity in their young minds.
Reading and math are important - but science, social studies, and the arts are subject areas that shouldn't be ignored. Testing encourages these subjects to be almost eradicated from the teachers' agendas.
5. Test preparation.
Some schools spend a quarter of their time on test preparation - this wastes precious instruction time. After NYC schools' reading and math scores plunged in 2010, "many schools imposed extra measures to avoid being shut down, including daily two and a half hour prep sessions and test practice on vacation days."
"On Sep. 11, 2002, students at Monterey High School in Lubbock, TX, were prevented from discussing the first anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks because they were too busy with standardized test preparation."
Take some time, I say, to truly teach the subjects. Sure, some review is good. But when a large amount of instruction time is wasted on test preparation, I think the concept of standardized testing goes a bit too far.
I want to cite the website that I am getting my facts from - http://standardizedtests.procon.org...
This website provides both sides of the argument on standardized testing; however, I believe that the cons outweigh the pros.
novovreme forfeited this round.
I am against standardized testing because it has had a negative effect on the state of American education. When standardized testing was fully enforced, the US ranked 18th in math. Seven years later, seven years of standardized testing, the US fell to 31st in math. No improvements, whatsoever.
Second, testing rushes teachers and students; as an effect, students don't fully understand the subjects. They remember it for a while, and then it fades from memory. What I support is quality education, education that isn't concerned about tests that don't prove any true statistics.
I support the removal of standardized testing from our education system. I believe it is a unbeneficial, untruthful way of measuring students' intelligence.
I have backed up my claim with facts and statistics from an unbiased website. My opponent only typed one word in this entire debate - 'testing' - which does not even support his pro-testing argument.
Voters, I hope this is an easy debate to decide on, no matter which side you truly support.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: lol! I can't give con conduct for obvious reasons, but there is no doubting his argument was in every way superior to pro's FF.
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