A quick follow-up to yesterday's post on education "reform" – a WaPo column on the relevance of standardized tests through the eyes of an adult school board member who (rather boldly) agreed to take the test and publicize his results. On the one hand, I have a hard time taking seriously his "I've never had to do math in real life, so why should kids learn it?" argument, which is both explicit and implicit here. On the other hand, it makes you wonder what the average school board member (or Concerned Parent, for that matter) would get on their kids' standardized tests.
I used to enjoy giving my intro classes the basic test immigrants are required to take in order to obtain U.S. citizenship. The results were…not pretty. "But no one needs to know this stuff!" was a common protest, but they somehow avoided linking that response to the question of why the test should be required of immigrants in that case.