Saturday, August 20, 2011

Grading Schools for Success

By Sean Scarpiello

Every day at school, students take tests to monitor their progress in class, and to help teachers gauge how well their students are doing so they can modify their lesson plans as necessary. Tests are crucial for learning to take place in school. It is easy to say that without tests, nothing would get done in school. A test is a motive to get students to learn effectively and succeed. If tests did not exist, then no one would put forth any effort studying nor showing up to class. This fact holds true in the rest of society as well. If there were not any tests, exams, inspections, or reviews in the workplace, all of civilization would crumble. Monetary return is the primary reason why every worker in the United States works hard. If workers do not make the cut, they are fired because they are ineffective. Tests set standards and help measure competency in basic knowledge as well as areas of expertise.

One of the areas which have come under much debate in recent years has been the effectiveness of school districts in the United States. The United States has slowly been dropping ranks in the field of education when compared to other countries around the world. One of the reasons for this is that the government has low standards for school districts. In other words, the tests that school districts need to pass are either non-existent or too easy to pass. The state governments need to come up with ways to raise their standards.

In Pennsylvania, students must take a standardized tests in reading, math, and science. Some high schools set a required score in order to graduate. At first, these standardized tests sound like a great idea and they have a lot of potential to ensure school districts are graduating well educated students. However, the tests are very easy. The test must be taken in the junior year of high school, but many freshmen could probably pass the test easily. This poses a problem for the quality of education in the United States.

School districts need to be tested as well. Often times, many school districts are poorly educating their students which is overlooked by ineffective inspections from the government. If the school administration, teachers, and board officials were more closely monitored, there would be a large increase in the quality of education. If students do not pass these tests coming from the government, people are at risk of losing their jobs to more effective administrators and teachers. When people’s jobs are on the line, the quality of their work will increase. Students and teachers will not succeed if they are not challenged. Therefore, if governments pushed the school districts to perform better on standardized tests, then there would be a huge improvement because there is a motive to work more effectively.

In all, giving America’s school districts their own exams to review their progress in educating students will bring a higher quality of education to students. This will allow the government to monitor school districts and make sure that every school is teaching a consistently high quality of education across the United States.

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