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Why Standardized Testing is Bad for Society

Why Standardized Testing is Bad for Society

By Sze Mai Ng, age 12, Diocesan Girls’ School

I disagree with the form of a standardized test.  It is a test that is mainly composed of multiple choice questions, with an optional essay which only takes up a small percentage of the total mark.  There is only one right answer for each question.  Everyone in each grade gets the same test, and this test is given to students in many different schools.

 

Firstly, on a standardized test, it is hard for students to express their creativity, because there are no open-ended questions, and each question has only one model answer.  However, the ability to express creativity is vital in many jobs when students grow up.  If students are not trained to be creative from when they are young, and only train for these standardized tests, it will be hard for them to survive in companies when they grow up.

 

The above is one of the biggest problems about standardized test, but there are more.  How well students of a particular class, or school, do in a standardized test, may affect the teachers’ income.  If students do too badly, teachers may even be kicked out of school!  This is what causes teachers to “teach to the test” – they only teach students how to do multiple choice tests, which, in turn, buries their creativity and their other analytical skills.  This is not good for the students themselves in the long term, and can even harm them.

 

Next is the problem of guessing.  The standardized test consists of multiple choice questions, which enables students to guess the right answer, and have at least 25% of getting the correct answer.  Thus, students who have developed effective strategies for guessing answers, mostly those who are trained by teachers for multiple choice tests, may get a fairly high score without really having the knowledge or intelligence to deserve such a high score.  On the other hand, students who love to express creativity but cannot master the ‘art’ of guessing may get a low score on such standardized tests, as this test doesn’t give students the chance of expressing their creativity.

 

This brings up another problem – the standardized test is a high stake test.  If a student does well in the test, he or she may successfully enter a top college, while he or she may not actually meet the standards of the university, as high scores might be the result of guessing.  However, students who have great creativity but are not familiar with the format of standardized tests may not even have the chance of stepping through the doors of university.  Ultimately, this isn’t fair for the students, and cannot benefit the society either, because young people who don’t really have the talents may get into reputable companies because of their high test scores.  This may cause big problems for companies.

 

Although I think standardized testing is bad for the society, there are still indisputable benefits of standardized tests.  One of the most significant ones is that standardized tests are easy to grade, and examiners can get the results of students efficiently.  Also, with standardized answers, the disputes that occur when students think marks are not given in a fair way can be lessened.  However, these benefits can’t compensate for the problems standardized tests cause, as they can drastically affect students in the long term, and can cause many other chain-reactions, such as hindering the graduates’ ability to do jobs well.

 

In conclusion, I think that standardized testing is bad for the society. There should be more open-ended or long-answer questions in high-stake tests, instead of only multiple choice questions.

The Importance of Lions

The Importance of Lions

By Leo Lam, age 8, Alliance Primary School

I agree that ensuring the  healthy, wild populations of lions continue to roam the savannah for generations to come is not only the job of the Africans, but the job of the whole world. Lions are sold in every country, so everyone could help us with the act. Kids can entertain the lions, the government can establish labs and zoos, and then the scientists can use the labs to know what we can do with the lions.

Hunting men who are hunting for lions will be arrested and face trial. People will having at least one lion for a pet to keep them from dying. Zoos will help protect lions from the hunting men and there will be a free service to link male and female lions to marry.

The more people take care of lions, the less taxes they will pay. Only the people whom care for lions and other endangered animals can be president. Kids and immigrants also.

Why Shopping is Not a Sport

Why Shopping is Not a Sport

By Howard L., age 15, St. Paul’s Co-Ed

Shopping is a big hobby for many people and some even see it as a necessity in their lives.  People do not simply shop for goods and search for bargains.  A lot of them even find the process itself enjoyable.  Surprisingly, the latest debate about shopping is not whether it is addictive or whether it can provide long term happiness but whether it should be counted as a sport.  Personally, I do not agree that it is a legitimate sport and I am going to prove why it is not with reference to the common characteristics of a sport.

Firstly, exercise and body movement should be the main focus of the whole activity.  Take basketball as an example.  Players need to keep moving all the time, making use of their skills and also physical abilities to win a game.  I would not say that basketball is all about physical abilities as skills are also essential but the former certainly comprises a major part of the game.  Shopping, on the other hand, does not require a lot of body movement.  Although people still have to walk around and may need to rush to grab goods, such movements are only a minor aspect of shopping.  You do not sweat simply by shopping.  Also, exercise is definitely not the focus of shopping.  People shop for goods, not to train up their body.  If you really want some exercise to maintain good health, why would you choose shopping when you have that many other efficient sport activities?

Secondly, a sport should be a competition under a clear set of rules and regulations.  Every single sport has its own fair rules in order to make the sport fun and organized at the same time.  Shopping, however, does not have a set of rules.  There may be some creative shopping games organized in the past but still there is no such thing as an official set of rules for shopping.  It would be a ridiculous thing.

Thirdly, all appropriate sports should be able to promote sportsmanship and fair competition.  This is the ultimate goal of participating in sport activities.  However, shopping is only focusing on spotting bargains and making the best use out of money.  It does not have a message or point that’s related to sportsmanship.  Shopping will only enlarge the selfishness and greed of mankind.

In conclusion, I do not think that shopping qualifies as a kind of sport.  It is a daily activity for some people and might be enjoyable.  However, based on the above reasons it is clearly not a sport.

The Mermaid Chronicles

The Mermaid Chronicles

Students were asked to write about the existence of mermaids. This passage  is a mermaid’s response to a newspaper article that denied the existence of mermaids.

Quenifer L, Age 9

“What? This can’t be!” said the king. A week later, the newspaper said that mermaids don’t exist again. The king was really angry. “This is war!” he shouted really loud. “No! humans are kind!” I shouted back. The king ignored me. I left the castle and went back to the stage. I heard some voices. They are reporters! I had no choice. I started to sing and dance. The reporters are surprised. They took pictures and recorded some videos. A few days later, the government came. This time I went with all the mermaids and the king to the stage. Now, the humans finally believe in mermaids! Soon our stage became a tourist spot. There are ten musical mermaid shows every day. The king is really happy. We can live in total peace again.

Constellations

Constellations

In Introductory Creative Writing our students were asked to write about a constellation that had run away:

Maxine Y, 8

Sagittarius, aka Saggy, is running away! He leaves because he thinks he has no talent and we have a lot of talents. He brings a bow, 20 heart diamonds and an arrow. When the other constellations wake up they jump around and move around and try to connect to Sagittarius on Starchat. Sagittarius blocked his chat on Starchat! He deleted his icon from Starchat too. Sagittarius might be hiding at the gym, the locker, in his starcar, or in the meto box. The meto box is a home of his in Paris. He has hidden in his meto box. Saggy feels happy to escape. He is happy because he wants me to see his new talents. “Why don’t you want to come home? We have all your friends waiting to meet you again” I said. “It is boring to live there again, and I found a new food called pasta!” he replied. “But you could show them your new talents!” I said. “Fine, only if you help me with something,” said Saggy.

Dr. Yang

Dr. Yang

Dr. Yang (and Kelly’s Yang father!) is the Head of Chinese at KYP. He teaches Chinese Critical Reasoning (Putonghua) at the Beginners, Introductory, and Intermediate levels. He is an esteemed medical doctor, scholar, writer, and teacher. Dr. Yang speaks native Chinese (Putonghua) and is a graduate of Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China. An avid writer, Dr. Yang has been published in numerous Chinese publications, including medical journals. Prior to joining KYP, Dr. Yang worked at the University of California in its award-winning Biology and Microbiology department. At KYP, he enjoys working with kids and inspiring them in Chinese!