I am a bit tired today to want to fully flesh out a thought enough to make a blog post that I'd find satisfactory, so instead I'm going to talk a bit more about yesterday's topic, standardized tests, and leave it at that. As part of my preparation for yesterdays post, I read this Washington Post, which had been popping up repeatedly on my Facebook feed. While I liked the anti-standardized test message, I was a bit disturbed at the questions that were labelled too hard.
Of course, who can question that this upstanding administrator could be less than qualified to evaluate what an appropriate math exam might be, despite the fact that "[T]he math section had 60 questions [and he] knew the answers to none of them" After all, "[b]y any reasonable measure, my friend is a success. His now-grown kids are well-educated. He has a big house in a good part of town. Paid-for condo in the Caribbean. Influential friends. Lots of frequent flyer miles. Enough time of his own to give serious attention to his school board responsibilities." I'm not sure if the mathematician in me is more outraged by the questions this administrator cannot answer or the philosopher by the limited methods for measuring success.
I do have to agree with the assessment of the reading test. Often it is not clear which answer is, "best." However, this related article is much more in line with my opinions from yesterday, in fact echoing some of them. Plus, the author is old! That means he must know that about which he is talking, right? Hmm, another reason I may have chosen to omit it yesterday is it seems to bring out the snarky side in me. Oh well.