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High-Stakes Testing, the Standardized Classroom, and the Marginalization of Multicultural Education

Project id 1016247
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 2266
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"The world's greatest problems do not lead to people being not able to read and write. They result from people in the world-from different cultures, religions, races, and nations-being unable to get also to work together to fix the world's issues." These statements from James A. Banks have made a deep impact on my view towards multicultural education and the country's current tendency of standardization and high-stakes testing. Scholarly study shows that the emphasis placed on standards and testing, mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, is inducing teachers to focus entirely on basic skills in reading, writing, and math (Banks & Banks, 2010). This focus on basic skills is taking much needed time and attention from multicultural instruction, and the teaching of social justice abilities. These abilities are critical to pupils becoming active citizens that may work with many different classes to tackle the world's issues. Therefore, the problem and issue for me becomes, how can we as educators maintain equity and excellence in our teaching through multicultural education, in the face of the standards and mandates set by NCLB and our nation, so that no student-of some group-is left behind? All Students Left Behind NCLB has been passed with a goal of closing the achievement gap between white students and their low-income and minority peers. However research over the past 10 years has found that the high-stakes testing policies have not improved reading and mathematics achievement across states, and haven't significantly narrowed national and state level achievement gaps (Au, 2009). In fact, the high stakes testing and standardization of classrooms has hurt the very students it set out to help. In accordance with Haretos...

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