In these articles, both authors are talking about the impacts of using standardized tests as a method of ascertaining students achievements. “Herbert J Walberg” defines this as “Stop the war against standardized tests.” He discusses the need to emphasize on the importance of using standardized test as the most efficient method of determining students’ success directly benefiting the students while holding the educators accountable. He further adds that students who take standardized tests more often complete their assignments and watch less compared to their peers. Hence help them develop habits that aid them not only in their academic life but also throughout their life.
On the other end, “Philip Harris, Bruce J Smith and Joan Harris” lashed out the claims that standardized test help measure students’ achievement effectively by saying that “Standardized tests do not effectively measure students’ achievement.” They strongly opposed these claims by pointing out that standardized test does little to none when it comes to measuring students performances. This is because they fail to measure out fundamental attributes such as creativity and critical thinking. They point out that study shows that standardized tests only measure the superficial way of thinking part and hence cripple the analytical thinking. Additionally, because there so little sample of knowledge being tested, the tests provide a partial picture of students’ achievement
In the first essay, “Walberg” points out that the standardized tests are a good measure for students’ performance simply because according to research, the tests measures skills and understanding for they are objective, fair and systematic. For that reason therefore, they are used for admissions into other institutions of learning. Additionally, it can be used for qualifications for licensing of skilled occupations. He points out that standardized tests is a crucial element in the form of a three- legged stool. Which when one is feeble or missing the entire stool is faulty but when all the three are alright, then the stool functions effectively.
Philip Harris and co-writers refutes the statement and says that scores do not provide much detailed information on evaluating students’ abilities and the educators’ competency or the success of a particular institution or program. He further adds that in order to make such judgements, we should go way beyond the results and make deductions on what they really mean. He defines achievement according to educational economist Richard Rothstein that “Measurement of student achievement is way more too complex for the social science methods currently available” and that even includes standardized testing
Secondly, the pro- standardized test author “Walberg” adds that the standardized test is more efficient in targeting different areas of development. This happens when students master out the materials intended for learning and they can further gain other general skills example writing which can be subdivided into rules of spellings and grammar. The educators can also help better other areas of weakness in a students’ performance. Those areas with strengths can be identified as talents to be developed further.
Philips contradicts this point by saying that the standardized test measures little attributes. He provides a list of aspects from “Gerald Bracey” that standardized tests do not make an attempt to test them. These are, creativity, critical thinking, resilience, motivation, persistence, curiosity, endurance, reliability, enthusiasm, empathy, self -awareness, self -discipline, leadership, civil mindedness, courage, compassion, resourcefulness, sense of beauty, sense of wonder, integrity and honesty. These are all what we want for our kids to have them at some degree. While all the learning takes place in the classrooms of course a teacher can’t teach all of these from the text books.
Herbert continues to support that standardized tests make America students more globally competitive nation. Students who demonstrate knowledge and skills on standardized tests become better prepared to meet future educational, occupational and professional goals. They can assess complex achievements that are used for admissions at selective colleges, professional schools and also licensing in various occupations.
“Philip” argues that the system acts as a reward for shallow thinking. Simply because the technology of the testing cannot efficiently and accurately measure some vital attributes that we all want our kids to have. He adds that there have been statistical studies that showed children with high standardized test scores had relatively shallow thinking, thereby encouraging them to be superficial thinkers.
In conclusion, both authors of these articles are learned elites who have at certain times held positions at the educational sector. Therefore, they have the experience with the subject in discussion, though they differ in their views. They target the students, policy makers, educators, institutions and the government.
Though both authors try to convince their audiences of the impacts of standardized tests, the first author, Herbert J Walberg provides really concrete and solid evidence to try and win the argument on the matter “Stop war against standardized tests” and he also compares it with a three legged stool which when one is not functioning well, then the whole system is compromised. According to Philip, he draws a saying from an educational economist which states that “Measurement of student achievement is way more too complex for the social science methods currently available” and that even includes standardized testing. Which actually does not provide a solid reason, and evidence to support the statement.
Though both of these essays try to stand out unique from the other, the first author Herbert J Walberg” uses more evidences and support to convince his audiences on the merits of taking standardized test. He provides statistical data and a lot of credible sources to win the argument. On the other hand, “Philip Harris and other co-writers try to draw facts to support their claims too but they do not stand out to provide solid evidence of their point of view in every paragraph.