Standardized Testing in a Non-Standardized World: The Unfairness of High-Stakes Standardized Testing and its Implications for English Language Learners in Texas
Orsak, Rebecca L.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Theory of justice (Rawls, John)
Educational tests and measurements -- Evaluation
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
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Rebecca Lauren Orsak is a member of the class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]This paper aims to determine whether federally mandated standardized tests provide fair equality of opportunity for all students. To assess the effects of high-stakes testing, I researched the performance of English language learners in Texas public schools on standardized tests. Further, I analyzed the consequences of poor performance on standardized testing on both schools and students, applying these impacts specifically to English language learners. This paper utilizes a Rawlsian ethical framework to determine the fairness of testing as it is currently implemented. Through this research, I hold that the implementation and the impacts of high-stakes standardized testing compound existing disadvantages for certain students, including English Language Learners. Further, standardized testing does not accomplish its intended goals under the No Child Left Behind Act of promoting and measuring academic achievement.Rebecca Orsak