Marion Brady, veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer, and author, recently shared an email correspondence he had with his friend, a member on the Board of Education in Florida and holder of two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate.
Brady’s friend decided to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading and math given to 10th graders in his district. After doing so, he wrote:
“I won’t beat around the bush. The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.”
He continued saying, after discussing the math skills he was tested on with his wide circle of friends in various professions, not one of them said the math described was necessary knowledge for their profession. He acknowledges the argument that had he actually been taking a 10th grade math class his scores would have been better.
“But doesn’t that miss the point?” he writes.
His test results made two things clear to him:
- A test that has the power to determine a students future success in life “should surely relate in some practical way to the requirements of life.”
- Had he taken the two tests when he was in 10th grade, he would have been told he wasn’t “college material,” believed it, and pursued a future that was “appropriate for the level of ability that the test said [he] had.”
He concluded writing: “I can’t escape the conclusion that those of us who are expected to follow through on decisions that have been made for us are doing something ethically questionable.”
Brady answers: It’s ethically unacceptable. Ethically reprehensible. Ethically indefensible.
Read the entire article at: When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids.
“When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids,” By Marion Brady. The Washington Post. Accessed on 7 December 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/when-an-adult-took-standardized-tests-forced-on-kids/2011/12/05/gIQApTDuUO_blog.html
“Revealed: School board member who took standardized test,” by Valerie Strauss. 6 December 2011. The Washington Post. 7 December 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/revealed-school-board-member-who-took-standardized-test/2011/12/06/gIQAbIcxZO_blog.html