National standardized tests vs. local control of education

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In recent period of time, there has been a lot of attention towards national tests and local control of education. So what are these two and what they mean? The answer will await you below. I will try to give you all needed information and all the essentials so you can clearly make a difference and understand standardized testing and also alternatives. Without further ado, let’s begin.

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Local control of education

It means that a school or a college will perform all testing and all requirements needed and set by the Department of Education. In other words, it means that a school will have a local board or district officials, which come from that very community and they will perform all tests and all needs, period. In this case requirement, we can see that each state in the US is responsible for the education, period. It may seem like a well-known thing and it may look obvious, but don't jump to conclusions just yet.

In the United States, over 80% of funding comes from state and not federal institutions. This is especially the case with elementary and secondary education. Academic standards are usually the same and there are no major differences here. On the other hand, we have a high school or any other form of learning institution where funds come from a federal level. The percentage is slightly above 10% of this funding. It varies and there are countless variations but the goal is the same.

What this means is that each state has the right according to the constitution to develop and monitor student progress. A test is common in this case and usually the same or at least identical like in other states. On the other side, there are exams which are not the same and depend on the state, educating standards and so much more. Minority students don't like this form of monitoring. Keep in mind that final exams are usually identical.

Standard, national tests

This is an alternative and completely different approach provided by the government and rarely used in public schools. It means that the same type of exam with the same details is served to students from different schools and different states. The goal of this is to check knowledge and skills of students nationwide. The content of the tests is the same. After all, they must be identical in order to get a complete, accurate picture of results. Teachers provide them in the same way and same test scores are implemented.

The idea is to locate states or schools with lower quality of teaching and improve them as quickly as possible. High quality is mandatory in this case scenario and it can have a huge impact overall. Just to add, educators still use the same test prep, same high standards, and all the rest. As I have mentioned earlier, there must not be major differences in evaluation and presentation. On the other hand, some variations in educational processes are allowed and usually present frequently.

For some of you, this may sound like wrong or irrelevant matter. For others, it may be fair but difficult. The fact is both types are used and they will likely be used for a long period of time. Teachers are satisfied and a school can determine possible issues with help of a government.

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A complete picture

In this section, I will try to explain why mixture of these two is applied and why it is so important. At the end of a day, success comes to success for a school and a student. Yes, local management and monitoring can be effective and it is highly recommended. A student test can reveal so much of the educational capabilities, success rate, and limits. But, all of this is limited to just one school or university if you prefer. You cannot get a complete picture nationwide. The solution is obvious.

Local exams are monitoring are desirable almost always. But, national monitoring is still mandatory at some moments. It is the only way and the only method authorities can check scores and capabilities per school, state, and district. In simple terms, this is the only way for achieving more. The support is focused on those who need it the most and future adaptations and changes are implemented on all levels.

Another benefit here is flexibility. Schools can monitor most of the processes inside, and they can make countless changes to adapt knowledge absorption. This isn't something that a country can do. This is something only a state can do due to countless variations present. States develop their own modifications and get better scores in the end. But, when needed and before it is too late, specific changes can be made so a school performs as well as others across the country. Without the second point here, it would be impossible to keep the score average though the United States. There would be high variations that are not very appealing in this case scenario.


In the lack of a better word, I personally believe that both of these are mandatory and equally important. Perhaps you like one and hate others, but they are essential in order to the proper educational limits across the country. There is no rivalry here. Only the need to be the best you can in your own realm at any given moment.

The article is written by Matt Willis from PapersOwl. He is a professional editor at the platform with over 20 years of experience in writing various topics. Before he worked as a college professor in the United States. Even today, Matt likes helping students across the country.


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