As successful adults and leaders in our society, surely they would be up to the challenge, right? And surely the results would prove their hypothesis, that the skills measured by these tests are both necessary and sufficient to be a successful adult and contributor to society, right?
Well, it looks like one school board member at least had the same idea. This article in the Washington Post is trending in my Twitter stream today:
“I won’t beat around the bush,” he wrote. “The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.Yep. He goes on to say,
He continued, “It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate.
“If I’d been required to take those two tests when I was a 10th grader, my life would almost certainly have been very different. I’d have been told I wasn’t ‘college material,’ would probably have believed it, and looked for work appropriate for the level of ability that the test said I had.So, again, I renew my call that all state and federal legislators, as well as all education reformers that use standardized tests as the primary measurement of how successful schools are, to take the mandated state tests in your area and then publish the results. (As a bonus, I think all education reformers should be required to send their children to the same types of schools they are designing for other people's children, but that's also another blog post.)
. . . "I can’t escape the conclusion that decisions about the [state test] in particular and standardized tests in general are being made by individuals who lack perspective and aren’t really accountable.”
There's a difference between standardization and high standards; between recall and application; between testing and accountability; between schooling and learning. I fear that many of our so-called leaders have forgotten this. Perhaps it's time for them to walk-the-walk and be held accountable on the same tests they are requiring of our students.
Update: The hashtag for this is #takethetest