ENGL 101 Section 6

Forum for students in ENGL 101 Section 6, Spring 2012, Washington State University


    Katherine Jensen's assign. #4

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    katherine.jensen

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    Join date : 2012-02-22

    Katherine Jensen's assign. #4

    Post  katherine.jensen on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:59 am

    Katherine Jensen



    Position: against standardized testing

    Intro:
    “Standardized testing has played an important role in U.S. education from the debut of “intelligence tests” in the 1920’s (Jost, 330).” “Standardized testing has drawn criticism about the reliability of the information and its use or potential misuse.” Cheating in schools has become a big problem associated with standardized tests, and surprisingly the cheating is not done by the student but mostly by the teachers. The article, “Cheating in Schools” addresses cheating as one of the consequences of standardized testing. “Imposing an annual testing requirement is not necessarily beneficial (Jost, 326)” says Kenneth Jost, the author of the article, “Testing in Schools” reports on the controversial argument that students, even in 3rd through 8th grade, should be given standardized tests annually in many different subjects.






    Cheating in schools

    “Politicians have also ratcheted up the stakes-especially regarding performance on new statewide standardized tests instituted as part of education reform, say test critics. Tests results often determine whether schools retain their accreditation, whether educators get fired or students graduate-and even whether local real estate values go up or down.” Pg 749

    “Sometimes teachers cheat inadvertently when they prepare students for standardized tests” like making copies of an old test to have the students practice on. Pg 749

    “high stakes exams are turning schools into little more than test-coaching programs.” Pg 761

    “Teaching to tests is becoming rampant across the nation. First, schools drop important content areas that are not on state exams. Next, daily instruction comes to resemble testing, then teachers coach their students with questions that are very close in content and format to those on the test. Finally, some teachers provide the exact questions. We all recognize the last step as “cheating”, but each of these steps cheats students out of a rich and meaningful education. Pg 761

    “students across the nation are being driven out of school, retained in grade of placed in special education solely in order to improve school scores.” Pg 761

    “Testing has not, cannot and will not induce high-quality education, but it does encourage cheating, both overt and covert. To address these problems, we must radically deemphasize testing and rethink accountability. Pg 761


    Testing in Schools by Kenneth Jost

    “standardized testing has a built-in bias against minority youngsters”

    “standardized tests were never intended to measure schools’ overall performance and are not an accurate way to tell how well schools are doing.” Pg 325

    “imposing an annual testing requirement is not necessarily beneficial.” Pg 326

    “no connection between tests and classroom instruction”

    “Nearly seven in ten teachers said that instruction stresses state tests “far” or “somewhat” too much, while 66% said tests were forcing them to concentrate on things covered in the tests to the detriment of other important topics.”

    “schools are bound to spend too much time preparing students for tests as testing assumes a greater role in assessing student and school performance” pg 327 children will get a bad education, no educational improvement, they are just going to be good test takers

    “Richard Atkinson, president of the University of California, startled the higher education community in February by proposing that his highly regarded university no longer require applicants to take the exam” pg 328 He believes that “the SAT is compromising our educational system”. It is “unfair, especially to minority and disadvantaged youngsters” A supporter of the test said, “it gives them [students] a message about what next step will be most productive for their education. While this could be true in the article, “When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids” the principal who actually took his school’s test said that, “If I’d been required to take those tests when I was a 10th grader, my life would almost certainly have been very different. I’d have been told I wasn’t “college material”, would probably have believed it, and looked for work appropriate for the level of ability that the test said I had (Brady).” One single test such as the SAT should not determine what you do for the rest of your life. Everyone should have the equal opportunity to go to college and then determine what career they will pursue.

    “Standardized testing has played an important role in U.S. education from the debut of “intelligence tests” in the 1920’s.” pg 330 “Standardized testing has drawn criticism about the reliability of the information and its use or potential misuse.”



    When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids

    “I asked him what he now thought about the test he’d taken. “I won’t beat around the bush,” he wrote in an email. “The math section had 60 questions. I knew answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62%. In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.”

    “It seems to me that something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit toward a doctorate.”

    “It makes no sense to me that a test with the potential for shaping a student’s entire future has no little apparent relevance to adult, real-world functioning.”



    Two cheers for standardized testing

    “It [standardized tests] also is classist and racist, discriminating against poor children, and especially against poor children of color.”

    “the tests discriminate against minorities, who consistently score lower than whites on almost all widely-used standardized tests.”

    “the tests make clear the extent to which many of the poor are unprepared for higher education or well-paying jobs.

    “testing results in poorer quality education. The public perception is that the quality of education is already poor and that testing will both provide the evidence of this poor quality and serve as the prod to improvement.”

    “Teachers often argue that outside control of the curriculum demeans them, disempowers them, deskills them, deprives them of their professional authority and autonomy, and reduces them to the status of mere functionaries and employees.”

    Questions:
    1. I could really use some suggestions on how to organize my paragraphs, obviously I havent done any of that.

    2. In argument essays are you allowed to use "I"?

    3. I could use some help with a thesis..


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