Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Standardized Testing

Why are we Americans so obsessed with testing our nation's children incessantly? This is not a new problem; though it seems to be getting worse since the No Child Left Behind Act. Studies have shown that tests are biased, especially toward those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. So, why do we still test kids every year--or even more than once a year?

Homeland Stupidity has a good write up on testing and some interesting tidbits here.

My favorite bit from the article comes from a New York practice test and shows how tests don't really teach knowledge learned in school (well, maybe gym class -- if they have it, in this case) or deductive reasoning capabilities.

The year 1999 was a big one for the Williams sisters. In February, Serena won her first pro singles championship. In March, the sisters met for the first time in a tournament final. Venus won. And at doubles tennis, the Williams girls could not seem to lose that year.

The story says that in 1999, the sisters could not seem to lose at doubles tennis. This probably means when they played:

A. two matches in one day
B. against each other
C. with two balls at once
D. as partners

Sad... it's really just sad.

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