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Are standardized tests necessary to measure students' academic abilities? - Civil Discourse for Classrooms

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Resource Type Activity


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Reviews is a free, evidence-based interactive tool for students to develop media literacy skills by applying the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy to public media content. Importantly, the tool does not require registration for teachers or students, abides by student privacy laws, and is advised by a board of both youth and educators.

Each module consists of:

  • a compelling and timely question;
  • related current and age-appropriate public media content including audio, video, and text;
  • extension resources for advanced or highly-interested students;
  • student graphic organizers;
  • a simple debate tool;
  • a teacher's guide to the module;
  • and a guide to the 5 Key Questions of Media Literacy.

This Teacher's Guide supports the Are standardized tests necessary to measure students' academic abilities? module on Here is the full module and below is a summary.

Standardized tests, a fixture in American education, have been the source of increased anxiety for students, parents, and teachers. In particular, student performance on the SAT or ACT is widely seen as one of the most important factors in admission to competitive colleges. While proponents of testing say it is the best way to objectively measure students’ learning, critics argue that the tests are an inaccurate way to assess students’ achievement and potential. Are standardized tests good, bad, or all of the above?

To use this module with learners in any setting, we recommend using one of the structured discussion formats outlined at You can find options for a small or large group, so that all students or just a few participate, and examples of some discussion formats.




June 17, 2021
0.2 MB
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