Are standardized tests the best way to measure how well a school is doing?

Argument Writing Research Topic

The United States spends more money (per pupil) on education than any country in the world, yet its students score only average on achievement tests for math, science and reading. The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2001, was designed to close the achievement gap that exists between different economic, racial and ethnic groups, and ensure that all children in the United States receive a good education. It mandated higher standards for teachers and annual testing of students to verify that they are progressing. Schools that do not measure up to the new standards face cuts in federal funding. Some states require high school seniors to pass an exit exam before they can receive a diploma. Proponents of testing believe that tests are necessary tools to measure whether students have progressed in a subject area and hold schools accountable if they have not. Critics of standardized tests argue that too much emphasis is put on them and that they are unfair to low-income and minority students.