Lee and Watson (2015) agree with this sentiment, noting that when education policies are 'framed in terms of standardised test scores, with scant acknowledgement of their limitations, there is a risk that schools and systems will respond by teaching only what can be easily measured by these tests.' In this article I query why we are required to collect copious amounts of generic data and force standardised testing onto our students, particularly our students with additional needs, when it can come at a cost to their overall education and literacy learning.
Students with additional needs cannot become 'successful learners' or 'confident and creative' individuals if we simply measure their learning by their performance on standardised tests. Standardised testing limits individual strength-based responses, sets many students up for failure and in some cases, may lead schools to push out students with additional needs because they lower the school's reported status (Sapon-Shevin, 2007).
The standardised test is fair and more objective than a system in which some students get an easy test, while others get a more difficult one.
Brain research suggests that too much stress is psychologically and physically harmful and it may be impossible to engage in the higher-order thinking processes to respond correctly to the standardised test questions.
The final exam, however, must be done through a standardised test that has been developed by a subject expert or even a panel of experts and administered to all on a preset date.
However, according to Joan Harris, an American school supervisor, standardised tests fail to measure student achievement because they only cover a "small sample of knowledge".
I would like to shed some light on some of the real-life impacts of overemphasis on standardised tests in schools.
Aren't these enough reasons to remove standardised tests from schools?
Standardised tests should be used in combination with other evaluation techniques to arrive at a fair judgement of an individual's progress.
Audrey MacDougall, the Government's own chief researcher and head of education analytical services, has stated that standardised test data is "not comparable".
Back in June, John Swinney set out to tell delegates at the EIS conference (the largest gathering of professional educators in the country) why they need standardised tests to do their jobs properly.
Well, we know teachers didn't ask for (and don't need) standardised tests. We know a national testing system will cost us more instead of less.