The Instigator
nemest
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Piffler
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

standardized testing should be eliminated

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,321 times Debate No: 11975
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

nemest

Con

Positive Aspects of Standardized Testing
1) Standardized testing gives teachers direction to help them conclude what to teach students and when to teach it. The outcome is more efficient instructional time and a simplified way of timeline management.
2) Standardized testing tells parents and the school how well students are faring across the country and locally. This can also indicate how your local area is doing compared against the national landscape. You need standardized testing to see where the problems are. Without the level knowledge that it gives, certain problems won't be recognized and dealt with.
3) Since all students in a school are doing identical tests, standardized tests provide an accurate comparison across groups. Over the years great improvements have been made with regards to test bias, which has led to more accurate assessments and comparisons.
4) Standardized testing permits students' progress to be tracked over the years. When students take the same type of test yearly, which is adjusted for grade level, it is easy to see if a student is improving, degrading, or not changing. This assesses the teacher and the child.
5) It improves the accountability of students and schools and motivates students to learn the material. Knowledge is cumulative, so a student doing poor early can end up behind indefinitely.
6) It costs 50 cents to $5 to score an essay, compared with pennies for each multiple-choice question. According to the new York times.

Standardized testing simply makes education more stable, level, cheap, adaptable, and allows for better assessment.
Piffler

Pro

I will begin by refuting my opponent's claims, and then I will move on and create my own arguments supporting the elimination of standardized testing.

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REBUTTALS
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"1) Standardized testing gives teachers direction to help them conclude what to teach students and when to teach it."

All schools have curricula that is already predetermined by the nature of the course which they are teaching. Standardized testing is not needed to give these teachers a direction. If anything, standardized testing negatively impacts education in this way, since it results in what as known as "teaching to the test" where teachers do not care about truly educating the students, rather, they want to see positive results when it comes to test day.
For a dramatic example of teaching to the test, we have to look no further than a teacher in Texas whose school, in some classrooms, stopped teaching social studies and the sciences completely since these were not on the state test [1]. Is this the education that these children deserve?

"2) Standardized testing tells parents and the school how well students are faring across the country and locally."

Standardized tests are extremely inaccurate at gauging the capabilities of students, and thus cannot be used in this way. This is because it is impossible to create a test that is fair to all students, and thus it creates an inaccurate representation of both those that benefit and are hurt by this inherent bias. These standardized tests also cannot account for other factors critical to learning such as motivation that are key to success.

"3) Since all students in a school are doing identical tests, standardized tests provide an accurate comparison across groups."

Much standardized testing, unfortunately, leads to cheating due to a pressure to obtain high standardized test scores by the students or teachers [2]. Also, to attempt to alleviate this cheating, many standardized tests have created multiple forms so that it becomes much more difficult for teachers to cheat and nigh on impossible for students. However, these again have the inaccuracies that inherently result from differences in the tests.

"4) Standardized testing permits students' progress to be tracked over the years."

The performance of students on any given day should obviously not be used to establish whether or not they have made progress throughout the entire year.

"5) It improves the accountability of students and schools and motivates students to learn the material."

While it may motivate students to memorize answers that will likely show up on the test, if anything, it discourages students from learning a wider range of material as sourced above, since the rest of their knowledge will not determine their results on the standardized tests.

"6) It costs 50 cents to $5 to score an essay, compared with pennies for each multiple-choice question."

Is this an assumption that standardized tests only consist of multiple-choice questions? Many, like the SAT and PSSA do not, but under the assumption that they do, this only further encourages students to memorize concepts without learning the material. This is why many very important tests like AP Exams include free-response portions, because they are one of the most effective ways in analyzing the true knowledge of a student, as far as tests are concerned, which vastly outweighs the cost issues (which have not been shown by my opponent to be vast).

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CONSTRUCTIVE
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I propose that standardized tests be abolished in favor of what is known as the portfolio method. This method essentially consists of creating a file for each student and placing assignments and works of students frequently in this file. There are many benefits of this system [3].

1) It is cheap.

The amount of money that it costs to purchase some filing cabinets and folders for portfolios is minimal, and it can even be put online to further save money.

2) It is much more accurate.

Instead of measuring student performance on a single day, and expecting this to account for the student's progress throughout the entire year, performance is measured constantly, which reduces stress and is inherently more accurate.

3) It encourages teaching a wider curriculum.

With results based on a variety of tests and assignments given throughout the course, teachers focus on teaching the material on a chapter-by-chapter basis, instead of spending the entire course looking ahead to the standardized tests. This ensures that everything that needs to be taught for a complete understanding of the subject is taught.

Since the portfolio method is much more beneficial than standardized testing, I therefore affirm that standardized testing should be eliminated.

Sources:
[1] http://www.www2.districtadministration.com...
[2] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

I look forward to my opponent's response and hope that this will be an enjoyable debate.
Debate Round No. 1
nemest

Con

nemest forfeited this round.
Piffler

Pro

Since my opponent forfeited the last round, please extend all of my arguments.

Vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 2
nemest

Con

nemest forfeited this round.
Piffler

Pro

Due to my opponent forfeiting yet again, I urge a vote for the Con. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Piffler 6 years ago
Piffler
Lol, I mean I urge a vote for the Pro. My bad. -_-
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Piffler 6 years ago
Piffler
nemestPifflerTied
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Total points awarded:07