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Testing… Testing… 1 2 3

I have for a long time not been a fan of standardized tests (or testing in general). I get why testing is needed, which is to assess or measure something at a point in time. However, when we test something, does that tell us the whole story?

As an example, the SAT test determines a students’ aptitude in roughly two areas: math and English skills. You could have a savant who is the best musician in the world take this test and score poorly, leaving them to think they are somehow unworthy or incapable of achievement.

Many other tests in school simply measure a students capacity to remember something for the short-term, not whether or not they have achieved mastery of a subject.

And then you factor in things like: test anxiety and other physical/mental consideration, test validity and reliability, and the teacher/institution offering the instruction and testing.

Education in the United States emphasizes quantity, rather quality. “How many students can we get through this system?” Instead of, “How can we maximize the quality of student we produce through the system?”

This is not to speak poorly of educators (as I myself am one). Most of the teachers and educators I meet are just trying to get it all done and keep their heads above water.

It’s no secret that it’s past time to rethink the education system in the United States. What the system of the future will look like, I couldn’t tell you. But, maybe we can find the answer together. That is the real test.