Standardized Tests: Inaccurate and Unfair Evaluations.
While previous generations of American students have had to sit through tests, never have the tests been given so frequently and never have they played such a prominent role in schooling (Kohn 1). Kohn further asserts that "children are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world" (2). However, standardized tests are inaccurate and unfair evaluations. First, standardized tests are socio-economically, racially, and sexually biased and therefore have poor predictive validity. Second, they are not aligned with the curriculum being taught thereby interfering with valuable instructional time. Third, they are being used inappropriately when they are the only standard for inclusion or exclusion from a class or a program. This essay will establish that these tests are both unfair and inaccurate. .
First, standardized tests are socio-economically, racially, and sexually biased and therefore have poor predictive validity. Sacks quotes Teresa A. Dais of the University of Illinois as saying, "Minorities and students with disabilities, in particular, are suffering as a result of traditional assessment practices, which have proven to be inaccurate and inconsistent, yet continue to be used in prediction, decision-making, and inferences about student performance and lifelong success" (7). "The average white student has access to better educational opportunities than the average African-American student, so white students are better able to develop their intellectual potentialities and consequently do better in academic testing" (Walsh and Betz 420). The National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a race discrimination lawsuit for denying "athletic scholarships and interscholastic competition to first-year students whose SAT I or ACT scores fell short of a fixed score cutoff" (FairTest, Factsheet 3).