Friday, January 14, 2005

We're Not All The Same

If we are not now in school, most of us remember certain things about school. One example, when our quizzes or tests were returned, some of us wanted to keep the results to ourselves. Others wanted to know what we got. We always suspected that they had done well and they wanted to let us just how well they had done. Not all of us are good at taking quizzes/tests.

Those who are good are able to put themselves into a group of people who often get higher grades but are not necessarily better able to do things. In this country, it appears that the leadership feels that testing is the best and perhaps the only way to determine whether education is working.

President Bush recently made this statement in a speech concerning education: "If you believe every child in America can learn, then it makes sense to raise the bar," Bush said at an appearance at a suburban Washington high school. "That's called accountability for results," Bush said. The accountability that he is talking about is testing. Some of us will look better than others just because we don't take tests well. That's a painful fact that many of us can remember or are going through right now.

Bush says that his administration would pay for the testing. On the other hand, he said that he would pay for No Child Left Behind and he didn't. This could lead to a wide range of tests given region by region across the country. In any case, do we really want to give those who take tests well an clear advantage over those who can't take tests well.

I have an acquaintance who was on the screening committee for applicants for medical school. His committee felt that the best doctors didn't necessarily come from the group with the highest grades. There are other things out there that we need to look for other than "How well do you perform when taking tests?"

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