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Essay on Standardized Testing

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,014 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,498 Views

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Standardized Testing

Section 1. Problem:

Standardized tests have continued to generate gender and race gaps in achievement despite decades of national attention. These gaps exists due to the stereotypes that the math abilities of females are weak compared to that of the male, and the intellectual abilities of Blacks, Hispanics and low-income students.

Section 2. Debatable Thesis Claim:

How to improving adolescents' standardized test performance, and to reduce the effects of stereotype threats?

A field experiment was performed to test methods of helping female, minority, and low-income adolescents overcome the anxiety inducing effects of stereotype threat and, consequently, improve their standardized test scores. Specifically, seventh grade students in the experimental conditions were mentored by college students who encouraged them either to view intelligence as malleable or to attribute academic difficulties in the seventh grade to the novelty of the educational setting. Results showed that females in both experimental conditions earned significantly higher math standardized test scores than females in the control condition. Also the students who were largely minority and low-income adolescents in the experimental conditions earned significantly higher reading standardized test scores than students in the control condition.

Section 3. Intended Audience:

Educators, academics as well as politicians are trying to find some common ground, as they also face the task of improving the student's education. There is a growing trend among educators to take a closer look at the implications if such tests on classroom teaching and the students. Standardized test results aren't an exact science and do not properly assess the teachers' effectiveness in the classroom. The educational system in the United States has been using standardized tests to evaluate the performance of students. The basis of these tests is being debated among scholars, parents and teachers on their effectiveness.

Section 4. A Segment of the Persuasive Argument Supporting Thesis Stated in #2 above.

A lot of the psychological and educational research examining the various factors presumed to underlie the race and gender gaps has concluded that sociological factors, such as teachers' expectations, are often to blame. (e.g., Eccles & Jacobs, 1992; Jencks &Phillips, 1998; Romo & Falbo, 1995; Sadker & Sadker, 1994; Valencia, 1997). More recent research in social psychology, has shown that these gaps may be a product of a more general cognitive process that may be, a result more amenable to intervention than previously thought. (Aronson et al., 1999; Aronson,


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