Why Standardized Tests Fail To Measure Educational Attainment Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Type: Essay Paper: #91932798 Related Topics: Standardized Testing, Educational Attainment, Teaching, Critical Thinking Skills Published September 22, 2022
Excerpt from Essay :

Standardized Testing: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Today, high-stakes standardized testing in the nations schools is commonplace, and the practice has been used in American schools at some level for more than 175 years. During this time, standardized tests have been accepted for their ability to gauge student learning by some, criticized by others and lambasted by some, but they have generally been accepted as the only cost-effective, standardized method of measuring educational attainment that is currently available. The purpose of this paper is to examine these good, bad and even ugly aspects of standardized testing to determine the facts. Following this review, a summary of the research and important findings about standardized testing are provided in the papers conclusion.

The Good

Much of the good that is associated with standardized testing is attributable to the fact that these testing methods have been used in the United States for a very long time. Moreover, standardized tests were originally developed by the prominent educator, Horace Mann. In this regard, one historian reports that, The man considered to be the Father of Standardized Testing in the U.S. is Horace Mann, who was secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education from 1837-48 (History of standardized testing, 2013). Prior to the introduction of standardized tests in 1845, most American schools used oral examinations as the main method of measuring educational attainment (History of standardized testing, 2013).

In addition, proponents maintain that some other good qualities of standardized tests include their demonstrated ability to objectively measure educational attainment in ways that uneven grading schemes cannot as well as their ability to identify educational attainment areas that are in of improvement. In sum, standardized tests provide a valuable framework in which the nations students can be assessed in a uniform fashion to measure their knowledge (Do standardized tests improve education in America?, 2020). Notwithstanding these…workplace, teaching to the test also conceals the true status of educational attainment and does not identify where learning deficits may exist. As one critic concludes, Standardized tests only determine which students are good at taking tests, offer no meaningful measure of progress, and have not improved student performance (Do standardized tests improve education?, 2020, para. 8).


The United States is a generous nation and it has not skimped on education. Enormous sums of scarce taxpayer resources have been used to build, maintain and administer public schools across the country, but far too many students still struggle to attain the education they need to compete effectively in the 21st century workplace and many critics blame standardized testing for this suboptimal outcome. The research did show that standardized testing is regarded as an equitable method of assessing educational attainment and in identifying learning deficits by some educators, but the criticisms against this testing method make it…

Sources Used in Documents:


Black, A. J. (2020). High-Stakes, Standardized Testing and Emergent Bilingual Students in Texas: A Call for Action. Texas Journal of Literacy Education, 8, 18–37.

Do standardized tests improve education in America? (2020, December 7). ProCon, Inc. Retrieved from https://standardizedtests.procon.org/,

History of standardized testing. (2013, October 18). Lehigh University. Retrieved from https:// ed.lehigh.edu/news-events/news/history-standardized-testing#:~:text=The%20man% 20considered%20to%20be,of%20Education%20from%201837%2D48.

Cite this Document:

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"Why Standardized Tests Fail To Measure Educational Attainment", 19 May 2022, Accessed.6 October. 2022,

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