University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


The education system is foundational to society. Public education is based on the concept of equal educational opportunities for all. Although the purpose of standardized testing is the elimination of bias to prevent certain segments of society’s students from receiving unfair academic advantages, there is little empirical verification that suggests that standardized testing actually achieves its intended purpose. In fact, the evidence indicates that standardized testing negatively impacts low-income, marginalized, and English-learning students, as achievement gaps for these groups have remained the same or have even grown with the increased use of such tests. This article will discuss the intended goals of standardized testing and their direct implications on the United States’ and Canada’s public education systems. Moreover, the article will compare the United States’ implementation of both President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act and President Barack Obama’s Every Student Succeeds Act to Ontario’s creation of the Education Quality and Accountability Office and Alberta’s implementation of Student Learning Assessments. Lastly, this article will argue that an education system that relies heavily on standardized testing to measure student achievement is conditioning students to become less creative and more automated, ultimately stagnating the development of young students’ critical thinking skills.