The Instigator
Oreo1088
Con (against)
The Contender
David_Debates
Pro (for)

standardized testing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 279 times Debate No: 93655
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Oreo1088

Con

I believe that standardized testing should be taken out of schools. Some kids have a hard time with testing and I think this is unfair because they try hard to study but they just cant get it and everything. They could be really good with in class work and homework and stuff but have a hard time testing on it. The tests that are timed have a a lot of pressure on someone who is bad at testing they feel pressured to going fast and rushing which may cause them to lose some points on there test. If they were gonna keep the testing in the schools let kids if they qualify for it to have more time on these tests and make sure that they do better. To qualify for extra time you gotta prove that you have a problem with the testing like that and need more time. Also I think that the reason they keep the standardized testing around is to get moneys for the schools. I know to that they can use them to decide what classes you can take or what schools you can get into. There are other ways that you would be able to decide that. That's why I think they should take it out of the schools.
David_Debates

Pro

Seeing that I am Pro, the burden to prove the value of standardized testing is on me. I'll begin with a resolution, defintions, and then arguments.

Resolved: Standardized testing is a valuable tool in evaluating a student's proficiency in a specific subject.

Defintions:
Standardized testing: testing that (1) requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from common bank of questions, in the same way, and that (2) is scored in a “standard” or consistent manner, which makes it possible to compare the relative performance of individual students or groups of students.
Valuable: of considerable use, service, or importance.
Tool: anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.
Proficiency: the degree of how well-advanced or competent a person is in any subject.
Subject: a branch of knowledge as a course of study.

Con argues that STs ought to be eliminated from schools outright. I will argue that
a) STs are the best type of test that schools and teachers can use for assesment, and
b) Non-STs are unfair and unreliable,
and thereby they ought to stay in use.

1) Standardized tests are more fair than non-standardized tests.

A standardized test is the same for everyone. This means that the "playing field," so to speak, is leveled. Students aren't given advantages by getting a easier test, or vice versa. This is widly different from non-standardized tests, where students are given different tests, some are easier, others are much harder. This means that the grades will not be reflective of the actual level of proficency, because the level of difficulty varies. "If Teacher A’s students achieve 1.5 years of growth in a single school year, then we need to know what she is doing and share it with others. If Teacher B’s students down the hall only grow 0.75 years, then he probably needs extra coaching and support. The same with a school or a district; those achieving growth should be celebrated, while those not achieving growth should be supported. Either way, we can only determine objective growth data if tests are standardized (1)."

2) Standardized tests are useful tools for teachers.

In order for a teacher to teach at his or her best capacity, assesing how well learned his or her students are is critical. "Assessments also give us data to inform instruction. If I teach something, but my class still hasn’t mastered it, then as a teacher I need to examine how I taught it the first time in order to teach it better next time. Likewise, if my class already knows something, I don’t need to teach it to them; we can move on to other things. Maybe most of my class have mastered a skill, but a handful need more time. Either way, I need data to inform my teaching – and that data comes from assessments (1)." As shown before, these assesments must be fair and accurate, otherwise they cannot be relied upon by teachers. Standardized tests can be relied upon, as you can compare scores to others to see how well your students are doing. On the other hand, a non-standardized test cannot be used for this purpose.

With this in mind, I'll respond to my opponent's points.

A) Taking a test is hard.

The purpose of a test is not to be "easy" or "simple," its purpose is to challenge the student to see how much he or she knows. What kind of a fair assesment would it be if we knew everyone would get every answer right because all the questions were so easy that they wouldn't even need to study for it?

Also, this point does not apply to only standardized tests. It applies to any type of test. Con is not topical in showing the problems with standardized tests, he is showing a "problem" with tests in general (that they are difficult).

B) There should be exceptions for students that feel pressured by having a timed test.

Everyone feels pressure when they are timed. I feel pressure when I'm timed, but in order to assure standards, one must accept that we ought to be given the same amount of time to complete the test to make it fair. See above for an explanation on this topic.

C) Standardized tests play a role in funding for schools.

Yes, yes they do. I'd assume that you are referencing federal funding. In this case, I respond that federal funding only accounts for about 9% of school funds (2). If you are meaning different funding types, please specify.

D) There are other ways that you would be able to decide (what classes you want to take).

Standardized tests don't influence your class choices. They assess how much you know in a certain subject that you are already taking. I'm unaware of what makes you think that this decides your class scedule. Where did you get this information?

That concludes all of Con's unsupported arguments.

I'd ask that Con answer two things:
a) Are standardized tests the best possible assesment tool for teachers?
b) Are standardized tests more fair than subjective ones?

I await Con.

Sources:
(1) http://tnscore.org...
(2) http://www.aft.org...
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