Testing to Improve Educational Achievement

Thesis Statements:

To strengthen educational standards and improve academic achievement, high school students should be required to pass a standardized test to receive a high school diploma.

-or-

Requiring students to pass a standardized test to receive a high school diploma will not improve the educational standards or academic achievement in our schools.

Some of the issues in this argument:
What are standards and how should they be applied?
How do standardized tests effect curriculum?
Do standardized tests discriminate against some groups of students? How?
What is assessment and what forms of assessment are valuable?