Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Modest Testing Proposal (Yes I Know It's A Cliche)

I was one of the staff members selected to help administer the South Dakota state-mandated DSTP test today.  South Dakota requires all who administer this test to swear oaths to several major deities not to reveal any details of the test or use the term evolution.  We can't even say that the test has evolved from earlier versions.  Those oaths are sanctified by burnt offerings of mammals, fowl, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

While watching the young minds deal with the conundrums that the state allegedly paid some publisher a million dollars to create, I had an epiphany:  opposing the test is really counter productive. 

South Dakota should expand the test.  Every person who currently supports the NCLB and its mandated tests would probably leap at the chance to take them.  South Dakota Public TV could even broadcast the test taking and announce the results.  It could be a local version of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?  The show could be called Are You Smarter Than Next Year's Senior? 

This plan should be a win-win situation.  South Dakota Public TV might get some extra revenue from this wonderful program.  Those who think that testing will force teachers to finally do their job and teach will get to show how great tests are by taking them and proving that those tests illustrate practical knowledge that everyone needs to succeed in business without really trying.

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