Top Pro & Con Arguments


Standardized tests scores are good indicators of college and job success.

Standardized tests can offer evidence of and promote academic rigor, which is invaluable in college as well as in students’ careers. Matthew Pietrafetta, PhD, Founder of Academic Approach, argues that the “tests create gravitational pull toward higher achievement.” [65]

Elaine Riordan, senior communications professional at Actively Learn, stated, “[C]onsiderable research suggests that interventions that help students improve test scores are linked to better adult outcomes such as college attendance, higher incomes, and the avoidance of risky behaviors… In other words, creating learning environments that lead to higher test scores is also likely to improve students’ long-term success in college and beyond… Recent research suggests that the competencies that the SAT, ACT, and other standardized tests are now evaluating are essential not just for students who will attend four-year colleges but also for those who participate in CTE programs or choose to seek employment requiring associate degrees and certificates. The researchers argue that all of these students require the same level of academic mastery to be successful after high school graduation.” [66]

Standardized test scores have long been correlated with better college and life outcomes. As Dan Goldhaber, PhD, Director of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, and Umut Ă–zek, PhD, senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, summarize, “students who score one standard deviation higher on math tests at the end of high school have been shown to earn 12% more annually, or $3,600 for each year of work life in 2001… Similarly… test scores are significantly correlated not only with educational attainment and labor market outcomes (employment, work experience, choice of occupation), but also with risky behavior (teenage pregnancy, smoking, participation in illegal activities).” [67]

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