Top Pro & Con Arguments


Standardized tests scores are not predictors of future success.

At best, Standardized tests can only evaluate rote knowledge of math, science, and English. The tests do not evaluate creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, artistic ability, or other knowledge areas that cannot be judged by scoring a sheet of bubbles filled in with a pencil.

Grade point averages (GPA) are a five times stronger indicator of college success than standardized tests, according to a study of 55,084 Chicago public school students. One of the authors, Elaine M. Allensworth, Lewis-Sebring Director of the University of Chicago Consortium, states, “GPAs measure a very wide variety of skills and behaviors that are needed for success in college, where students will encounter widely varying content and expectations. In contrast, standardized tests measure only a small set of the skills that students need to succeed in college, and students can prepare for these tests in narrow ways that may not translate into better preparation to succeed in college.” [83]

“Earning good grades requires consistent behaviors over time—showing up to class and participating, turning in assignments, taking quizzes, etc.—whereas students could in theory do well on a test even if they do not have the motivation and perseverance needed to achieve good grades. It seems likely that the kinds of habits high school grades capture are more relevant for success in college than a score from a single test,” explains Matthew M. Chingos, Vice President of Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. [84]

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