Standardized testing within the public education system continues to be a constant cause of concern for parents, teachers, and school administrators alike. The federal government’s timeline for all students to be 100% proficient, performing at grade level expectations by 2014 on state imposed standardized testing is logically flawed. Perfection is not something that can be acquired within the educational realm, due in part to the many components of a student’s educational journey. Standardized testing within the public education system will continue to plague the profession unless parents, teachers, and school administrators more productively use the results of such testing in conjunction with other more meaningful assessment techniques, thus enhancing a student’s overall educational experiences.
Such standardized testing as Georgia’s Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), a multiple choice test, only measures one component of the educational process. The dominating perception held by the public of a schools success or failure, is often based on the results of this single measurement. Standardized testing is a snap shot of a given student’s performance on a given day. How a student performs the other 189 days of the school year are not taken into account. Weighing the success and failure of an entire system on one single aspect is illogical. In the present perception of educational accountability, all that matters is whether or not a student “passes” a multiple choice test.
As students graduate from high school do employers want their employees to have passed a test or someone with the ability to actually apply knowledge they have learned. Application, I strongly believe is the answer. Successful education and knowledge acquisition is rooted in student experiences. Students “experience” each of the academic areas throughout their journeys. Those within the field of education must be proactive in measuring these experiences in a more practical way to fully understand whether or not substantial and lasting knowledge acquisition has occurred.