Assessing students’ learning abilities is an important component in education systems which help in improving the education standards in order to produce innovators and critical thinkers in a state. The mode at which teachers and the school administration are able to assess student’s learning progress so as to initiate effective school programs is dependent of the state’s standardized testing processes. These processes should be enhanced on continuous basis in order to assist educators in measuring the student’s knowledge towards the taught subjects, and the effectiveness of the teaching programs. Therefore, this paper discusses the current standardized testing in Georgia. It addresses not only how the testing guides instruction, but also the types of pressures it put on students, teachers, and administration.
Standardized testing is an educational assessment technique designed to enable the educator to learn about the student’s performance in school. It is normally incorporated in the school program in order to help in measuring student’s knowledge towards a given subject taught in school. However, the range at which the standardized test measures the student’s learning abilities or skills have not perfectly helped in measuring everything that students learn in school. The paper discusses the current standardized testing in Georgia.
Criterion-Referenced Competence Tests (CRCT) is the current standardized testing that is used in Georgia. As pointed out by Carnes (2011), Georgia’s education sector ensures that all students in the state in grade 1-8 are given CRCT which covers subjects like mathematics, science, and language arts. CRCT is normally given based on Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) which provides clear guidelines for teaching and testing of students as well as providing better understanding of the effort that students are deploying towards learning.
Carnes (2011) points out that CRCT standards normally pressurize students to work harder. For instance, students in grade 3 can only move to the fourth grade after passing the reading test. Carnes notes that a failure to pass the CRCT test will require that the student attend the summer school for studies during which they reseat the test. Any failure by a student for the second time may lead to the overall assessment of school’s methods of teaching. However, the test does not compare student’s learning ability and skills with other colleagues’ but rather gives individual assessment which at times does not illustrate an individual’s contribution towards others’ performance. Moreover, standardized tests are given on seasonal basis and can undermine student’s learning ability which should be on continuous basis.
The write up has pointed out the need for the state to incorporate standardized tests that can adequately assess student’s potentiality in learning as well as the need for teachers and school administration to adhere to education standards that can enable students to develop better learning abilities.