Academic achievement test necessary

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Academic achievement test necessary

The government is proposing to hold a national assessment of educational progress from elementary third graders to high school sophomores from 2024, expanding from the current 3 percent sampling on 9th graders in middle schools to sophomores in high schools.

President Yoon Suk-yeol said, “All schools that wish academic to have achievement assessments should be allowed,” as neglecting education to avoid criticism about school ranking can darken the future of the country.

The purpose of academic assessment is to accurately understand the scholastic standard of students to provide an apt curriculum. Academic standards of Korean students have sharply deteriorated. Last year’s assessment showed the number of underperforming high school students in math and English increasing more than 40 percent from 2017. The president said he would create a “safety net for basic academic aptitude.”

The idea is desirable. Basic academic standard is essential for students to continue learning and live a life as a social member. The law mandates the state’s duty to guarantee a basic academic standard and the role of education through proper means.

Past standard tests had side effects as schools vied to up their scores as they were ranked based on the results. As a result, private education flourished for the studies for standard test, while other studies were neglected.

And yet, the policy should be upheld regardless of the side effects. The purpose of assessment is to provide customized care and learning for underperforming students. It is important to evaluate an individual student’s level because much of the standards have been impaired from remote schooling during the Covid-19 period. AI-driven edu-tech also can be employed to provide customized schooling.

To study the nationwide academic achievement level, the sampling can be helpful. But to be more individual-focused, classes and students must be able to participate in an aptitude test if they desire. The government’s role is to set the right policy, not avoid it in fear of criticism.

The government can clash with education offices, parents and schools who oppose the academic assessment test at earlier ages. Actually, some education superintendents filed lawsuits against the government under former president Lee Myung-bak to oppose the uniform academic evaluation test. Since the proposal is up to each school, it can lead to discrimination among different regions. The Ministry of Education and local education offices across the country must work together to minimize the side effects and stay true to the purpose of the evaluation.
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