Measuring Student Achievement: A Study of Standardized Testing

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Students can have a sense of achievement after daunting tasks, such as standardized tests. In order to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to have a sense of achievement the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted in 2002. The No Child Left Behind Act supports the idea, students with disabilities generally have to be included in school accountability measures – meaning they must be tested and schools are judged on those test results (Rhee).

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The No Child Left Behind Act means that all students must be tested in english and math before the students can be sent to the next grade level, therefore all students are given these tests. Afterwards students will either feel accomplished or defeated by the test. However the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy envisioned that standardized testing is geared toward students without learning disabilities, as the students in special education will have increased difficulty completing the test. This would be analogous to needing to pass a test for a specific class, but not being given the resources or opportunity to successfully complete it. Even though this act is set to be for all students many are still excluded. A better overall assessment of the student is GPA over standardized tests.

GPA is more comprehensive of the successes the student had over multiple years rather than just one test date. There is little correlation linked between student success in higher education and how well a student performed on standardized tests which is eminent in a study UC Berkeley conducted. The study looked at all 80,000 students in the California university system, and found that when admission was based on, high school GPA is consistently the strongest predictor of 4-year college outcomes for all academic disciplines, campuses and freshman cohorts in the UC sample (Geiser). This 2007 experiment was looking for the success rate in 4 years of college and compared it to their success in high school.

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