Standardized Tests…Legit?

Ruchira Parikh

Standardized testing is a common (though not always popular) part of the education experience for most students in the United States. However, some have begun to question the legitimacy of the standardized testing process in assessing students’ critical thinking skills.

A recent standardized test given to third-graders in New Jersey included an essay portion. The prompt asked them to describe one of their “deepest, darkest secrets,” and to explain why it was a difficult secret for them to keep to themselves. Parents were outraged that their children were asked to reveal personal information in the essay, especially information that might have concerned private family matters.

They also argued that as third-graders, the children were too young to understand what would be an appropriate topic to write about and what would not be. They felt that their kids were being brainwashed into feeling guilty.

A Department of Education spokesperson said that the purpose of the essay was not to make students feel guilty or uncomfortable. Rather, it was simply meant to evaluate their writing skills.

What do YOU think: innocent school essay or guilty confession??