As I have progressed through my career, I have heard and read an increased number of grumblings from educators to the South of me, about the use of standardized tests, during the early years and how parents are willing to spend thousands of dollars to prepare their children for these tests.
The increased importance some government bodies have placed on these tests apparently has given rise not only to the purchasing of prepatory books and guides but also to private tutoring.
As a result, one critique for standardized testing has been that socioeconomics and financial barriers, give children with wealthier parents an advantage compared to less fortunate families. It should however be stated that the same criticism could apply to testing alternatives such as portfolios or essays.
In my experience and in my opinion test coaching and preparation has little affect on the outcomes and achievement on a well built test.
The ability of wealthy families to afford to send their children to post secondary institutions is generally not related to standardized testing. It is more closely related to being able to afford the costs of admission and tuition.
So my suggestion to parents is save your money, don’t spend it on test preparation, work with your child while they are learning. Encourage and inspire them to internalize and process the information, and when the test is completed you’ll have saved money for the costs associated with post secondary.