Justice in Standardized Testing

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Throughout the country, students in all forms of school must participate in standardized testing. This is done in order to aggregate and compare the performances of students nationwide. While this is a good way of measuring the progress of students, it is an inaccurate and unjust way to compare students due to several reasons.

 

STANDARDIZED TESTING CAUSES INJUSTICE DUE TO ECONOMIC DISPARITY

While standardized testing may work to compare students of one demographic within a certain community, it does not translate across communities. For example, many middle class communities that are predominantly Caucasian (white) tend to have moderate to high standardized test scores because of the high quality of schools and the ability to afford tutors and online self-help programs. However, these resources are not necessarily available to students and families in more economically stressed communities that consist of minorities. As a result, students in these communities (such as in inner urban areas) tend to earn lower test scores. However, on a scale of standardization, these disadvantaged students are compared side by side with privileged students. This is an injustice because these two demographics are simply not comparable. The worst part about this injustice is that oftentimes standardized testing (particularly in the high school realm) can dictate the academic future of many students. For example, many universities admit or deny based on standardized test scores. They even award financial aid in the form of merit scholarships to students who are high achievers in standardized tests. While this can reward hard working and talented students, it can also have negative effects on student who have not had the opportunity to have the same caliber of education as privileged students. This is an injustice and needs reform.

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