TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What are your thoughts about standardized testing?

I have recently been going on over and over again on the topic of standardized testing. There are a lot of people who agrees that standardized testing isn't a measure of intelligence/capability/competence. I, for one, agrees with this point of view. There are far more other aspects that constitutes a person's intelligence, other than their ability to score full mark on a test. Please share your opinions on the matter, and maybe even add up some suggestions on how you think we should carry on with our education system.

Thank you.
-Sheany

Share:
  • thumb
    May 1 2013: Testing proves ability to regurgitate correct answers. Training to regurgitate correct answers will never be learning to apply. The reality of testing is that it ain't actuality.

    Testing / Degrees can certify education, but only experience can qualify as learning.
  • May 1 2013: Standardized testing came about as a result of employing the factory model mentality onto the education system, which at the time, made a lot of sense. There were (and still are) hundreds of students and schools, and it felt like it needed to be managed from a top-down approach. In order to measure from up-high everyone's intelligence and capability to succeed in a career, a standardized test needed to be offered so that we could present an even playing field, or a ruler to measure each individual on a massive scale.

    The problem is that now we exist in a time when grass-roots movements are powerful and have stronger voices, and attacking issues from the bottom-up instead of top-down has been shown to be more effective, more powerful, and more influential. This is mainly due to the spread of technology (information is literally at our fingertips), but also to changing attitudes to how to get things done or what it means to be successful. Bars and limitations are either being broken or no longer exist - if you have a good enough idea, you can make it happen! Which means climbing the corporate ladder (which the standardized test was designed for) is no longer necessary. The true measure of an individuals success in a real career is now a blend of creativity, intelligence, competence, capabilities, and much more - and how can we standardize test that?

    Take a look at School for One - they are pretty interesting. They attempt to adjust education and tailor it to the individual student, not the other way around (students tailoring themselves to standardized tests and education).
    http://schoolofone.org/
  • May 1 2013: Standardization is an absolute necessity! An absolute necessity for ANY Factory :-)

    conformity
    control
    complacency
  • thumb
    May 1 2013: Here is a proper standardized test question: "What is the date of the Summer Solstice?". Here's another: "To find the difference between two numbers which arithmetic operation is used?" One more: "True or False: The Earth transits around the Sun." How you answer these kinds of questions allows me to quantify your knowledge. It does nothing to help me quantify your ability to process information, your IQ. The goal of the Education profession is, or ought to be, to increase knowledge. Therefore, to assess the performance of an educator I must test the knowledge of the students taught by that educator in order to determine whether or not their knowledge has increased. If a question is not precisely worded to allow measurement of knowledge then it should not be on a Standardized Test.
  • May 1 2013: There will always be tests and comparisons between students. Do you want nonstandardized tests? Do you want tests administered elsewhere? etc.
    • thumb
      May 1 2013: There are lots of non-standardized tests, in the sense of tests a teacher prepares for her classroom. In fact there is typically a vastly greater amount of time invested in assessments specific to a teacher's classroom than there is for standardized tests. Classroom assessments give feedback to teacher and student on what a student understands and doesn't and where the student's points of confusion are so that those can be addressed through different ways of explaining or studying the material.

      There are also tests banks from publishers that teachers can use to construct tests, knowing that the questions have had a trial run to make sure they are understandable to students. I don't know whether Sheany includes such questions as "standardized." Do you, Sheany?

      But typically when people use the words "standardized test," I have taken it to mean the additional once-a-year tests that everyone in the state takes to provide compact data so that the competencies of students on state-defined learning objectives can be summarized and reviewed at a State level.
  • thumb
    May 1 2013: standardised testing is a hangover from an out of date system.

    it is convenient and simplistic, which suits bureaucratic systems because they are easy to collate and make statistics out of that can be "understood" without having to think.

    it is well past time to remove all forms of standardised testing from schools.
  • thumb
    May 1 2013: I think that standardized tests are largely a measure of Intelligence and not a measure of success. People who are good at fine arts, dancing , music, sports may not fare that well on these tests but might excel in the careers in which they are passionate about. Bracketing individuals on the basis of limited number of skill sets is demeaning to human beings. Standardized tests also have problems related to practice effects, guessing, reliability and validity.