Putting America to the Test

America- Progressive or Reactive?

Could the inequality problem in America really be solved by starting all the way back at elementary school?

Now days, in order to have a career that can support a family, one must have a college degree. —–>

In order to have a college degree that can help an individual land a well-paying job, one must get into colleges that look good on a job application. ——>

In order for an individual to get into one of these colleges, one must do well on the standardized tests that are required for the college’s application.——>

In order to do well on these standardized tests, you must be wealthy.

Proven fact or overly-liberal opinion?

“There’s currently a 400-point gap between the highest- and lowest-income students.” –The Atlantic

This statement released from the Atlantic in 2014, is referring to the well-known standardized test known as the SAT. As you can see in the graphic below, there is a steady and consistent pattern: as a family’s income increases, so does the child’s SAT score.

Why?

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-Well, if you are wealthy, you can take test prep classes that give a student repeated exposure to the testing structure and wording.

-If you are wealthy, you are less likely to suffer from tension in the household, therefore have a quiet place to study and a more clear mindset that is able to focus on studying.

-If you are wealthy, your school is more likely to be more educated about these standardized tests and spend more time preparing students to do well on them.

-If you are wealthy, you can pay for any kind of therapy needed- testing or social anxiety, thus increasing your scores tremendously.

-If you are wealthy, you also have more money to:

  • visit museums
  • visit other countries
  • pay for online learning websites and software
  • pay for field trips that are school-hosted
  • pay for cable, internet connection, a ratio, etc.

All of these are ways that students can learn information and receive a more current, interactive, or even more authentic learning experience.

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It is now easier to see how our education system tried to make the system more equal with these standardized test, but in fact were ill-informed about  how the differences per child make the test not equipped for all students.

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And considering students in America take their first standardized test as early as kindergarten, if the system were changed to reduced standardized testing, these students could spend a lot more time learning in the classroom (as opposed to test preparation). Even more apparent, these students would not have a “testing track record” to feel labeled by, holding them back from things like higher education, well-paying careers, and so on.

 

Okay, Okay, Okay…..

Besides being Bias, are there other Problems?

Well, how aware are voters on this issue? The general public? Minorities? What effect does this have on the children? What is the government doing to help?

Watch this video to learn more.

 

Is There any GOOD News?

Some newer reforms-specifically the new SAT reform-are attempting to shy away from the inequality inside standardized testing, and thus responding to the ongoing criticism of this way of assessment.

There can be even more good news if this reform-and more like it- gain support from the general public… THAT MEANS YOU!

 

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