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Education and the Power of Testing

            The education system is an important pillar in the lives of many people, especially those who want to become successful members of society. Throughout the years dedicated to gaining one's education there are many tests given and taken. Some of these tests have more influence on a student's success than others, and these are identified as high-stakes or standardized tests. The implementation of standardized testing in schools has greatly affected schools in both negative and positive ways. While the government insists that standardized tests are a necessary part of education many others feel that the tests are unfair and biased representations of schools' success. Not only has standardized testing created a whole new style of teaching, called 'teaching to the test', it has created an increase in the stress levels of students, teachers, and administrators. Using the research I have gathered I came to the conclusion that the importance of standardized testing needs to be greatly diminished in order to obtain a useful education.
             In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act changed the environment of schools all over the U.S. The act gave standardized tests great power over the success of the students who take them, the teachers who administer them, and the schools as a whole. While many may debate on the usefulness and accuracy of standardized tests one thing is universal, and that is the fact that they cause an increase in stress of those involved.
             Standardized tests influence teachers by creating pressure on the expectations bestowed upon them. In an article about the impact of high-stakes testing, Natasha Segool explains the process of collecting data through standardized tests. Before examining the anxieties teachers accumulate because of standardized testing a list of some of expectations is given. In most schools a teacher's performance is evaluated by the scores received on high-stakes tests by the students.

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