Thứ Ba, 18 tháng 6, 2019

How Can Student Performance Be Improved?

How Can Student Performance Be Improved?

Over the years, educators have tried to create a system that both supports individual development and teaches the knowledge and skills required by society. However, studies have shown that many students lack a basic understanding of language, science, mathematics, geography, history, and other subjects. 
Educators have explored numerous methods for measuring and improving student performance. Such methods include standardized testing programs, literacy programs, and accountability testing. Many parents and educators have called for additional measures, such as longer school hours, more homework, increased teacher salaries, and stricter discipline in the classroom. 
Standardized testing programs
Many countries have national standardized testing programs that seek to measure the performance of students. Standardized testing can identify what information students know, what information students have difficulty learning, and which students experience the greatest difficulty. The findings of such programs can help educators recognize and address shortcomings in the school system. In the United States, for example, a federally funded program called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has collected information about the skill and knowledge levels of U.S. students since 1969. 
Despite the widespread use of standardized tests, many educators criticize the programs. Some critics argue that the tests are unfair to students from lower social and economic groups or different cultural backgrounds. Such students may be unfamiliar with words, terms, and concepts used in the tests. 

To give these students an equal chance, many educators have tried to prepare culture-fair or culture-free tests. Such tests might consist of pictures, symbols, and nonsense syllables that are equally unfamiliar to everyone. Some critics also argue that testing programs do not measure true understanding of information and fail to encourage educational progress. Nevertheless, most educators believe that testing is a useful and necessary tool in education. 
Literacy programs. Experts throughout the world have identified illiteracy as one of the greatest problems facing education. Many developed countries-including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada-have large numbers of adults who are functionally illiterate-that is, unable to read and write well enough to meet the demands of society. 

Many countries have implemented literacy programs that rely on volunteer teachers. In the 1960's, for instance, the Chinese government recruited about 30 million volunteer teachers with the slogan "You Who Can Read, Teach an Illiterate."
During the 1980's, many schools began to experiment with different teaching methods and increased free time for reading in an effort to stimulate young students' interest in reading. Some schools established adult reading centers to teach illiterate parents how to read and how to help their children develop good reading skills. 

Accountability testing. Many schools have experimented with more aggressive efforts to improve education. One of the most popular means of upgrading education is the use of accountability systems. Under an accountability system, teachers and schools are held responsible for students' progress. In the United States and other countries, governments have launched comprehensive testing programs to track the performance of students throughout their school careers. The programs help identify schools that consistently produce poor test scores. Once identified, failing schools receive intense scrutiny and help. If a school continues to perform poorly, it may be reorganized or closed.
In the United States, the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 established annual state tests for children in grades 3 through 8. The legislation also included measures for identifying low-performing schools and for assisting students in those schools. Under the law, if a school consistently performs poorly, its students may receive funds for tutoring or for transportation to other public schools. 
People who favor accountability systems believe such systems promote the effective teaching of basic skills. Many educators claim, however, that these systems fail to promote analytical or creative thinking. 

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