More Tests!

From the “Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard All Day” department:

Dr. Jared Bigham is Director of College and Career Readiness at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and a leader of the Expect More, Achieve More Coalition:
“We can’t afford to wait until students are 17 yrs old to determine if they are college & career ready.”


When should we determine whether students have reached the point we expect them to reach by age 17 or 18?  Maybe when they are in third grade?  Sure, why not?  It seems that we are headed that way, so why not just go ahead and evaluate third graders, to see whether they have reached the level of college and career readiness we expect to see from 17-18 year olds. If their teachers haven’t prepared these third graders to succeed in college – well – they are clearly not doing their jobs.

WHY, oh why, did I start writing, before I finished reading the whole article?  It was just so ridiculous, that I couldn’t wait to put my parody in print.

and then…

…I read the rest of it:

“With an assessment that matches our standards and the way students are learning in class, we could know as early as third grade if a student needs academic support to stay on track for college and career readiness.”

If that isn’t a “WTH” moment, I don’t know what is.

Today’s third graders are around 8 years old.  When they start college – ten years from now – we don’t even know what kinds of careers will be available.  At best, we are guessing.  How much more sense it would make, to educate students to be flexible, thinking, citizens.  Instead, we are setting them up for a multitude of missed opportunities.


Consider a few jobs that barely existed 10 years ago:

IOS Developer makes cool apps for your phone
Android Developer makes cool apps for my phone
Zumba Instructor you thought aerobics died – nope
Social Media Manager  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: all founded 2003-2006
Data Scientist bringing all those test scores together
UI/UX Designer making the “user experience” pleasant on our digital devices
Big Data Architect between organizational needs, data scientists, & data engineers
Beach Body Coach distributors of BeachBody LLC products
Cloud Svcs Specialist specializing in always-available technical services
Digital Mrktg Specialist marketing an array of digital services to customers


An interesting irony:  a number of these new careers that will continue to experience huge growth as the testing frezny continues.  The data YOUR KIDS produce through inappropriate testing are inherent to their job growth.

Let that sink in.

But, what can we expect, from a site so wrapped up in test scores, that they are STILL mis-representing Tennessee’s ginormous ACT “gains.”  They even point out that “most state averages on ACT only increase 0.1 points in a year…” WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WE GAINED, after the last two year’s losses are figured. (Remember, three-year averages are used to show growth.)

So kids, forget recess.  You’ve got calculus homework to finish.

Parents of infants and toddlers might want to order some of the items below. Everyone else is already behind.


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