In the United States, the current trend in education is the dependence on standardized testing to improve our current education system. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandates higher test scores and improved academic performance in schools nation-wide, especially inner city schools. This thesis will attempt to evaluate whether standardized testing and the methods used to assess high performance has helped to create a better education system in the United States, or whether it has hindered student performance. There has been much discussion about this topic, some positive and some not. In this paper I will present both sides of the issue. I will base my recommendations on the most current research, journal articles, and personal editorials from practicing teachers and administrators. I will evaluate the United States’ performance on international testing such as the TIMSS, as compared to other countries with different methodologies. This theme directly relates to the mission of the Pell Center because education is part of the national public policy and something that teachers, administrators, parents, and the general public have definite opinions about. It also influences international education, as other countries around the world debate new educational policies such as national curriculums and the use of standardized testing.
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