Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here’s what separates our generations: the standardized test (by Cariann E. Fay)

Here’s what separates our generations:  
the standardized test.

By Cariann E. Fay, 12th Grade at a public school in Southeast Florida.

Up until 5th grade, everyone should learn the same thing, with one or two exceptions such as foreign languages and a specialization for arts, such as orchestra or painting or dance.  By this point, students should be able to pick and choose what type of specialized school they would like to attend:  A science-based school, an arts school, a linguist school or veterinarian school, for example.  Until the eighth grade, this school is not a permanent choice and can be easily changed.  When high school is reached, the student works for some type of degree and schools can be changed, but students must audition to get in rather than be simply accepted.  In this way, school is specialized for each student and each individual will be able to truly discern what they believe is worthwhile for their studies.

The thing that separates our generation from all others is the educational focus on standardized tests, which the inventor of said, “These tests are too crude to use and should be abandoned.”  These tests are made to memorize the answers and give a textbook response.  That is no education.  Education is truly understanding the material and being able to discern what you think is the right answer from a vast sea of knowledge.

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Download the PDF of Postman’s book

The quote comes from a video by Prince Ea.
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The inventor of the standardized test said, “These tests are too crude to use and should be abandoned.”
Frederick J. Kelly is the inventor.

For adults who have missed the recent Internet sensations,  see

The Lawsuit against Education by Prince Ea  
David Brown, Boyinaband, with “Don’t Stay in School” (12 million YouTube views).

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If you have seen an essay by a student that speaks truth, please share it with us.   Send it to and we’ll add it to our list.

Thank you.

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Introduction:  In 1971 Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner compiled a list of questions to encourage students to speak and think.  He invited teachers to put these questions to their students.   The aim was to encourage more listening by teachers to the inner voices of students.

In a school in Southeast Florida, the Postman questions were distributed to 117 students.  Here is one of the essays that came from this exercise.   We call this collection of essays “Voices that We Won’t Hear.”   Perhaps by sharing these essays in a blog, there will be some adults who will hear what these teenagers have to tell us.

In short, 45 years after Postman compiled these questions, some students are benefitting from his book.

you can find this post at the quick link

1 comment:

  1. Remarkable insight. I took a standardized test, the SAT, in 1975, and it opened the door to academic work for me. But for most of my academic life, I've found the non-standard or personal work to be more satisfying than the multiple-choice work. I look forward to seeing how Cariann Fay's career expands as she focuses on non-standard approaches.