I have never been a fan of standardized testing in schools. There’s too big a variable at play — missing the wild mind — and these tests praise and condone only the middle. If you don’t do well on these tests, you are not moved forward or thought of as a significant thinker. The system doesn’t mind if your wild view of the world matters. The only thing the test givers care about is finding, and approving, the mainstream, middling, mind to guarantee, and impress, conformity.
The recent cheating scandal in the Atlanta school system proves my point about the nefarious unreliability of these standardized tests where teachers are hired or fired based on how well their students do or do not do on these silly tests:
Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right. She then agreed to wear a hidden electronic wire to school, and for weeks she secretly recorded the conversations of her fellow teachers for Mr. Hyde.
I understand the public and private school systems needs a way to quantify learning across school districts and counties and States and whole parts of the nation. I just know, from taking these tests, to giving these tests, that these standardized learning tests reflect the cultural memes and moral values of the test creators — only homogeneity and commonality and consensus are being tested and not thriving thinking.
Getting the answer right matters more than providing several answers to a single question. No long-form thinking is allowed because that would take too long to check. Checkmarks on a computer sheet are fine. We’re testing how well a student can fill in an oval with a #2 pencil so a computer can read the canned, rote, learning.
I want physical and audible proof of learning and intelligence. I want free-thinkers. I want students who are able to believe and act fast. I don’t want to test a brain with a pencil on paper. I want to examine the way the thought process happens when faced with living and dying scenarios. I want to test muscle twitches and the landscape of how the eye sees and interprets the world.
I want students who are reflexive and never reflective. I want a nation of thinkers that are not limited by what is already known and remembered. I want a community of minds that bring hive experience into being by challenging the notion that breathing is the first, and last, indicator of life. I want a real intelligence I can taste and chew on in others and I never want the pabulum of a computer printout telling me who is smart, and therefore worthwhile, and who is not.