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 Artwork YICCA - International Contest of Contemporary Art

Standardized Testing

by Karis Painter - United States of America


This work addresses standardized testing in public schools. The use of standardized testing has grown exponentially in the United States since 2002’s No Child Left Behind Act mandated testing in all states. Opponents of standardized testing argue that the focus on accountability has subsequently created a shift in teaching to the tests. This includes a narrowing of curriculum and use of instructional methods that emphasize skill and drill, rote memorization, and strategies to game the test. Programs for the arts and electives in schools are often cut, leaving little creative outlets for students.

The use of scantrons highlights the emphasis on standardized testing and data collection in public education. The repeated use of the word data brings attention to the narrow view of students as test scores and data points. This work encourages engagement, reflection, and questioning of standardized testing in classrooms around the world: What does this really say about our perspective of public education? How do we view students? What do we want our students doing in the classroom everyday? How do best practices coexist in a standardized testing culture?

Artwork Details

Installation - Various materials
Artwork Size - Width 60 | Height 62 | Depth 46