We hear so much about Standardized tests.  Our school age children take them each year.  Schools send home information letting parents know that these tests are important, and give out tips for success of these exams. We also read over our children's report cards to get an idea of how their learning progress is at school.   So parents start to wonder -Why do schools give these exams?  What is all of the fuss about?  Every school district and every state have a set of learning objectives that they hope children learn in each grade level. These tests are meant to show how well your child has learned this material. Teachers know what they are expected to teach, but how they teach is much more individualized. Teachers tailor their teaching to use what they believe will be the best way for their students to learn.  Teachers create assignments and lesson plans that are unique to their local area, local cultures and their students.  Grades given by teachers measure how well the school children understand the teachers' lessons.  They are valuable check points along the way to make sure that children are completing the work and understand the material. 

Why schools give standardized tests

Standardized tests show how well your child is meeting the learning standards for the state and school district you live in. These states use one of the standardized tests developed to measure learning of these standards at each grade level.  All of the children in one state will take the same test.  This gives you a score for comparison on how well your child did according to your state standards.  Children who live in different cities and attend different schools will have a score that allows each one to compare how well they are doing against the state's standards.  They provide important data that show how well teachers and schools are doing at effectively teaching their students the required learning standards since these tests are written and scored by companies that are not within the school. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act contain several requirements within it that schools must be able to demonstrate that the children are learning and achieving the learning standards.  This provides a level of accountability from that is objective and outside of the school itself.  Test scores that the school may get extra help in order to help reach students who are falling behind in case school consistently has a high percentage of low. That school may face such accountability measures as having to dismiss it's school administration or have much greater state and federal oversight of its teaching in case a school with low scores does not show improvement. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act testing requirements also force districts to look at their testing data in a way to make sure that various demographic groups are able to meet the educational standards.  This data can be sued to see how one school compares to another school.