Jun 24, 2012


Color-Coded Student IDs Issued Based On Standardized Test Scores Shot Down By California Lawmakers

This was a galactically stupid idea.

"The controversy began last October when Orange County's Kennedy High School mandated that black identification cards be issued to the top performers on the previous year's standardized tests, gold cards be issued to students who scored proficient, and white cards be issued to students who scored below proficient."

I know that we feel desperate sometimes when it comes to standardized tests. We hate them, but so much rests on good scores. I get it.

This isn't incentive. This is punishment. A year-long punishment. For the smart student who freaks out on tests. For the student dealing with divorce or death. For the student working long hours to help her family. For the sick student.

I have a better idea. Let every decision-makers in the nation--the president, principals, legislatures, superintendents, school boards, etc.--take their state tests. Heck, give them a fighting chance--make it the fifth grade test. Based on their scores, they would wear a black, gold, or white jacket for the rest of the year. Even if all of them "earned" a black jacket, they couldn't deny the pressure of failure and embarrassment.

It would force them to remember that students are people--not scores.

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