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Word Count: 858
The American media seems to love playing around with education Itdelights in poking fun at teachers students and the educational systemin general But some of these representations are damaging to studentsand teachers alike in ways that may not be immediately visibleespecially when considering standardized tests Standardized tests usedto be one option for measuring students progress Now they aremandatory nearly everywhere Students are beginning to take them lessseriously helped along by media representations of cheating Popularbooks and movies give students the idea that the tests are a jokecausing them to be more willing to cheat As they become more lazytheir scores decrease This leads officials and law-makers to decidethat more tests are necessary to motivate teachers and students whichin turn cycles back around to make the children try less and cheatmore References to standardized tests abound in pop culture demonstratingjust how synonymous education has become with the word test Fromthe Harry Potter movies showing the OWLs and NEWTs to chickflicks such as Mean Girls and Freaky Friday any scene involving aschool nearly always shows some form of test often standardized Manyof these scenes often show cheating or just failing to try leadingstudents to believe that these behaviors are not only acceptable butencouraged Media representations of testing practices seem to pushstudents into believing that the tests are not important and thereforenot worth much effort Meanwhile teachers are trying to combat this laziness and enablestudents to deal with the world beyond high school It is madeextraordinarily difficult for them however when their salaries andeven jobs may depend on these test scores With the application of theNo Child Left Behind Act the schools are dependent upon test scores forfunding If the scores are low enough for a period of years the schoolmay even be shut down and the students sent elsewhere The result isoften that an entire curriculum is based around the material expected tobe covered on the standardized test at the end of the yearparenthetically
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