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RS2 prof draft (d2)

RS2 prof draft (d2) - Spartas 1 Rhetorical Synthesis...

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Rhetorical Synthesis: Thoughts on Standardized Education Recently the United States has seen a shift to a reliance on standardized tests as a method of measuring how well schools are doing. Many attribute this change to the No Child Left Behind Act that was put in place in 2001 under the Bush Administration. As No Child Left Behind stressed measurement and achievement, the nation turned toward standardized tests to fulfill this task. This resulted in a rise of standardized teaching, as the focus of schooling has become passing the standardized tests that are given. However, many people have questioned the validity of this quantitative system of measurement (that is, a system that places an emphasis on test scores), especially as it has caused a shift to a more standardized education; a number of people advocate a focus on teaching through meaningful experience and focusing on a more qualitative (an educational approach that places greater emphasis on meaningful experiences and more direct application of material) form of assessment. Within a speech given by Beverly Falk on November, 2008 she advocated for teaching in the way that children learn. (In this case the students focused on were of elementary age.) She presents the focus on academic drills, scripted teaching and standardized testing that exists within the educational system today. Falk goes on to argue the need to nurture children within their developmental needs and to teach in the ways that the children learn; she asserts that teaching methods that focus teaching and learning should be employed rather than those that place an emphasis the “high stakes” that are involved in the quest to get good test scores. Falk believes that children need experiences that produce optimal learning, rather than an education that places sole emphasis on passing tests. In “Darkening the Ovals of Education,” Hunter Brimi also reflects upon the effect that the focus of standardized testing has on students, however he relates it to high school. He Spartas 1
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provides evidence that students who perform well on standardized tests and assessments will not necessarily do better in the ‘real world.’ In addition, he states that such assessments create a greater stress on where the students fall quantitatively, rather than qualitatively. That is, students should not be taught that good test scores and grades are the most important thing, as they do not necessarily yield success in life. Phyllis Tashlik argues for a performance-based system within “Changing the National Conversation on Assessment.” Within this piece Tashlik presents the pitfalls of a quantitative assessment that relies on standardized testing and the benefits of a system that employs performance-based assessment. She asserts that such a system creates a culture that allows students to thrive and develop important life skills. Along the same line of the others, she asserts that the focus of education should not be the ability to pass a standardized test, but the development of a well-rounded individual who is ready for life outside of school.
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