Feb 18, 2012

ARTICLE: Standardized Hazing

How Would You Do on a Standardized Test?

Rich Roach, a school board member from Florida, took the 10th grade standardized test. He's a business man with several degrees and experience in the classroom. On the Reading section, he scored a D, and he correctly answered 10 of 60 questions on the Math section. He said, "A test that can determine a student’s future life chances should surely relate in some practical way to the requirements of life. I can’t see how that could possibly be true of the test I took." 

"Roach suggests that the tests are being created by for-profit entities with very little accountability or perspective. 'There’s a concept called reverse design that is critical,' he said. 'We are violating that with our test. Instead of connecting what we learn in school with being successful in the real world, we are doing it in reverse. We are testing first and then kids go into the real world. Whether the information they have learned is important or not becomes secondary.'”

I remember taking a test as a kid. It was long and boring, but I never felt nervous or worried. Now, it just seems like the state is trying to prove something. Why can't a test simply assess the objectives? Why is it necessary to bury the objectives under a pile of convolution, secrecy, and threats? It says something important when a successful businessman, a member of the real world, questions the validity of the test. 

Whether the FCAT from Florida or the STAAR from Texas, arrogant decision-makers are relentlessly hazing kids before they can enter the fraternity of promotion.

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