Standardized Tests : More questions than answers

A typical classroom possess an endless variety of instructional strategies, assessment types, and teacher caps that service the needs of the vast variety of students and all their quirks, personalities, and interests. 

Then, after months of sweat and toil and learning everything is stripped down and discolored into a standardized test. A test which "may help us learn a little about a lot of people in a short time, but they usually can’t tell us a lot about a single person."

And t's been going on for thousands of years.

Think of a standardized test as a rule. A ruler’s usefulness depends on two things: First, the job we ask it to do. Our ruler can’t measure the temperature outside or how loud someone is singing. Second, the ruler’s usefulness depends on its design.

Rulers can’t measure the circumfrince of an orange, only length, because the ruler doesn’t have the flexibility required for the task at hand. “So, if standardized tests are given the wrong job or aren’t designed properly, they may end up measuring the wrong things.”

Like a child’s grasp of literacy or cultural familiarity, rather than their understanding of the content at hand.

Standardized tests can also have a hard time measuring abstract characteristics or skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

Perhaps the most crucial skills required and needed in our world today and in the future. 

It's like measuring the hight and weight of an athlete, rather than their actual play, and deciding if they'd make the team or not. 

It's passing the students who writes brilliant essays by skimming the text yet failing the ones who cry when Piggy dies  because they forget to turn in their homework. 

This, according to Sir Ken Robinson, is what's killing creativity and, possibly, the future. 

Our only hope for the future is to adapt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute ourselves of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the same way that we've strip-mined the Earth for a particular commodity, and for the future, it won't service. We have to rethink the fundamentals with which we are educating our children.
We have to use {human imagination} wisely . . . and see our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are."

A hope that can't be measured with rulers or dots on paper. 

"The hardest part of learning something new isn't embracing new ideas, but letting go of old ones." 

So what if we get rid of standardized tests? What do we replace it with?

Is the education then left to the teachers? Administrators? Is there no longer any accountability and everyone is free to teach and learn and grow (or not) as they please?

Just because it has been thousand years of standardized tests, does that mean we should get rid of it?

If so, what? What do we fill it with? 

Sir Ken is fully inspiring and completely spot-on, and he never once mentions standardized testing. Is simply investing in the arts the answer? 

How can we truly measure all that humanity has to offer? 

How do we quantify creativity, ingenuity, and relationships? How do we measure humanity?


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  On Creativity  :  Don't do homework, publish!  :  Smartest Kids in the World