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A Modest Proposal

Posted: 2002-12-25

Here's an antidote for people who think educational excellence ended the day they graduated from high school.

I have failed the New York State Regents tests in math and history, the Massachusetts, California, and Arizona tests in math. I think I probably would have failed the Virginia 5th grade test in science. I was laughing too hard to finish.

This experience convinces me that test resisters should stand on street corners insisting people take a test or two.

No direct instruction crap---or any other curriculum--- is going to prepare ALL students to pass these tests.

Or anywhere near all students.

Maybe, instead of making speeches around the country, we should just hand out tests and insist that people take them. And post their scores. Then we could group the audience as proficient, subproficient, and so on.

I'm only half-kidding.

An Even Better Idea

I think it would be an excellent, humbling experience for literacy people to take the math tests. And math people should do the literacy tests, though if truth be known, none of us literacy people in audience at the 2001 NCTE Conference in Baltimore could answer some of the goofy questions about literary terms from the MCAS.

And everybody should experience the insane history tests.

Best Idea

We should camp out in the offices of Standardistos--the politicians, the business roundtablists, the media, the educationists--and insist that they take the tests--with full warning that we're going to publicize the results.

And we publicize the names of the refusniks.

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