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Testing, a Perfect Tool? A Toulmin Model Essay

ice tea 7 / 7  
Apr 9, 2008   #1
i would like some feedback on my essay. i am using the toulmin model. i would like to know if i am using the correct format for the toulmin model and my MLA citations.

Testing, a Perfect Tool? A Toulmin Model

Each year, standardized testing is administered within schools to all students. Upon receiving the information from the standardized tests, the government can help provide resources to help students learn better. The students began to feel pressure once they receive the scantron and test booklet. Tension begins to build up. Students are rushing to answer all questions under a time limit. Students could circle the wrong answer. Standardized testing gives feedback to schools and the government by giving an idea of where the students need help in. From these results, the schools can create a curriculum that can benefit the students. Standardized Testing is not the most efficient method of student evaluation.

There are two types of standardized testing. The types of standardized testing are norm-referenced and criterion referenced. Norm-referenced is a test where it takes the students' performance on the test and compared it with their peers. Norm-referenced provides an average score of the students' performance. To give an idea, I took a Psychology class, my professor hands out tests to students. Students take the test and then the teacher grades the test on well all the students answer each question. From all the tests, the teacher can get an average score of how well the class has done on the test. Criterion referenced is a test to measure students' strengths and weaknesses in an academic set standard. For example, In order to advance to the next grade, students would need to meet a certain amount of credits to be able to move into the next grade level.

There are many ways to help students in their quest for learning besides standardized testing. Numerous assignments like homework, math tests, and class projects can be used to evaluate the students' progress. Classroom assignments can be used to create a suitable curriculum for each individual. A portfolio from various subjects can be used to show what the student has learned. Using a portfolio, encouraged students to learn. Using a portfolio has its ups and downs. I think that students would be wondering if the work being submitted is good enough. Once the portfolio has being submitted, the students would start having second thoughts about the class work or homework. Students might select assignments that have lots of A's on it. A trained team of judges can be used to evaluate the students' progress. On the TV show, Dancing with the Stars, the judges evaluate the contestants' performance. The judges give the contestants a score at the end of each performance. Teacher observation would provide a good evaluation of each individual. Teachers would be able to create a curriculum that can help students. I agree that teacher observate students would provide an alternative to standardized testing. There are some students who do not like to be watch.

Standardized testing is score by comparing an individual's performance with a groups' performance. Standardized testing measures the students' strengths and weakness. The students can be place in an appropriate academic program that will benefit them. If the students score low on their standardized testing, they can attend summer school. New programs can be created to help students. Testing is used to see if the individual is ready to move on to the next grade level. Humans create standardized testing and machines do scoring the test. There a clear misuse of standardized testing's. Krupa argue that In October, administrators of the SAT, a widely used college-entrance exam, improperly scored 4, 400 tests nationwide. The Educational Testing Service agreed to pay $11.1 million to settle a class-action suit brought on behalf of 4,100 people who were told that they had failed a teacher-licensing test when they had actually passed. And in New York, new seventh- and eighth-grade tests developed by McGraw-Hill included several questions from practice tests that were mistakenly used again on the real tests (Winerip). Misuse of standardized testing can cause governments to distribute a wrong amount of funds to schools. In a survey, it shows about 35 percent in 23 states has experienced some kind of grading errors in testing (Winerip).

Standardized testing is a multiple-choice test that has only one correct answer for each question that only helps students give the correct answer faster without ever putting in much though into answering the question. In Defense of Testing by Diane Ravitch states that, "The tests widely used today often rely too much on multiple-choice questions, which encourage guessing rather than thinking" (798). During testing period, some students would just mark whatever answer on the scantron and turn in the test. That wouldn't be much help to anyone. Those students would be place in a wrong academic learning environment. Some teachers would only teach what is on the standardized tests which can deprived students of learning. I would say those multiple-choice tests are just memory-based test to see whether or not a student can remember the information. Multiple-choice test are easy to grades. All multiple-choice tests needs are a machine and a human to put in the correct answers. Here comes out the score for the multiple-choice tests. I do think that reading and guessing the correct answer on multiple-choice test is very easy when I know the material. When I don't know, I would just circle whatever answer and hope for the best. In opposition, multiple-choice test questions stay the same year after year and never change. I have seen a few tests where most of the questions stay the same and a few multiple-choice answers have change. In Two Cheers for Examinations by Joy Alonso states that, "Quizzes tend to test only details-the meanings of certain words, the uses of the subjunctive, the dates of certain events, and so forth" (801).

There are better methods in using to evaluate the students. Some methods that can be used to evaluate students are the students' homework, class work, and class projects and teachers observing the students learning environment. Standardized testing is not a reliable method of testing a student's knowledge when there are other methods to use. I think that some students would get nervous about how well they would perform on the standardized testing. In other words, the students would score lower then what they are capable of. When using alternative methods would still help evaluate the students' achievements. Standardized testing is more focus on how well a student is learning comparing to other students. A multiple-choice test doesn't improve the students' knowledge. Multiple-choice tests just create a more remembering of the answers rather then learning. I will admit that standardized testing does show how well a teacher is teaching the subjects to students.

Standardized testing does not fulfill its requirement in helping students learn. A direct observation helps the government and schools understand how students are learning. Misuses of standardized test scores can make a student feel like they are at a disadvantage in comparing with other students. I think that paying teachers more money depending on the standardized test scores does not work. All of us would need to think of the well being of the children. Children are the future.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Apr 9, 2008   #2

I think you have a good start; however, there are a few things that you might want to look at more closely. Your first paragraph is not cohesive. The first sentence is fine; the second implies that standardized testing helps students learn better; this view is supported by the next-to-last sentence, which again says that the tests benefit the students. In the middle of the paragraph, you bring in the idea that the tests are stressful on students, which is introducing a different angle completely. Then, the last sentence of the paragraph, surprisingly, says that standardized testing is not the most efficient method of evaluating students; this is the only sentence in the paragraph which directly criticizes the tests themselves. It certainly could stand as the "claim" part of the Toulmin model; however, the other sentences in the paragraph need to be on the same topic, namely, that the tests are not that valuable. Instead, your opening paragraph is really about three different things: 1) Tests are beneficial; 2) Tests are stressful for students; 3) Tests aren't the best way to evaluate students. I would suggest that you go back and make all the sentences (except the first one, which is a nice, general opening sentence that introduces the topic of testing) relate to your thesis, which is the last sentence in that paragraph.

I find it a little difficult to find the Toulmin model in your essay. After the first step, which is the claim, comes the grounds for making the claim. Your grounds seem to be in the second half of the essay. I'm also a little uncertain about the warrant, although I suppose it could be that a multiple-choice test that has only one correct answer for each question only helps students give the correct answer faster without putting much thought into answering the question.

You might want to review the steps in the Toulmin model again and see how you can make your essay follow it more closely. For MLA citation, put the author's name and the page number in the parentheses, unless you have already mentioned the author's name in the sentence, like this: (Winthrop 193).

I hope this helps!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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