Low scores can prevent a student from advancing to the next grade or lead to school closings and teacher dismissals while high scores factor into tenure decisions and continued federal funding. With so much riding on the results, teachers often feel compelled to teach to the tests. In some schools, less time is being spent on the sciences, social studies, and the arts to prepare students to take the tests in math, reading and writing. Although standardized tests make it easy to compare school performance, they are just one of many measures that should be used to evaluate student ability and readiness for college and career. We don’t learn much from standardized testing, and we have lost a great deal by giving it so much prominence.

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