Take the Test!

OK, all you staunch standardized-tests supporters! Here’s your Waterloo (name that reference, quick! It’s worth 20 points!).

Let’s see how you do on the tests. Let’s make it really easy for you. You don’t have to take a test for Alegebra 2 (which you would certainly have to pass, being a grownup who graduated high school, right?).

Try 7th grade math. Go here and take the test. Wipe away your tears of frustration and ignorance. Now try 6th grade language arts test here.

Remember, these are tests for younger kids. If you feel all cocky and confident taking these tests, try the high-school standardized tests.

By now you may be mad at me. Right! That’s how your son or daughter feels sitting down to a paper or computer screen with these arbitrary so-called measurements of their learning and capacity for learning.

Now see if you can feel along with the classroom teachers, who face roomfuls of kids newly arrived from Mexico, China, Indonesia. Or a sprinkle of non-readers, or a row of blank-faced kids who have been beaten every other day, or whose dad and now their mom have just been incarcerated.

How about several rows of stoned, entitled rich kids who have never heard the word “no” in their young lives?

It’s easy to draw a hard line, you readers sitting out there. Test ’em all! High standards for all! Low scores? Blame those greedy, lazy teachers.

But here I sit in my juvenile-corrections facility, facing a roomful of incarcerated youth, all of whom have their stories, tragic or annoying or horrifying. All of them have to take those standardized tests at the end of the year, and most of them won’t do particularly well.



One thought on “Take the Test!

  1. And these tests aren’t even measuring skills that are valuable for life outside school. A more useful assessment needs to consist of a long-term project that requires creative thought from the student. Life isn’t multiple choice.

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