John Oliver On Standardized Testing

The always brilliant John Oliver on Standardized Testing in America.  Any teacher that I have ever talked to, and I know a lot, my Mom having been a teacher for her whole career, talks about what a waste of time this testing is.  It eats away at things that could be more beneficial to students, while giving a skewered look as to what is really going on in our schools.  There is huge difference between intelligence, learning, and just memorizing.

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4 thoughts on “John Oliver On Standardized Testing

  1. All true of course. However, most professions don’t hire on the basis of intelligence or learning. In other words, it’s nice to learn how to think, just don’t expect to be paid to do it. Few ever get to.

    Learning how to pass standardized tests is a vital skill required for qualifying certifications in thousands of professions. It never made me a better radiologic technologist to be able to regurgitate rote formulas and identify diseases I would likely never see, but because I could do it, I was given the license to by the state.

    1. Very true, all you need is a piece of paper to get a job. However, would agree the the idea of a good education is to not only be prepared for a job, but to be well rounded in learning in general? Jobs and life change and you need to be able to understand new things outside of a narrow technical field. Also, in a democracy, if it is going to function properly, we need people that can stay informed. I understand there are many people that don’t want an intelligent, well rounded populace, but we as citizens should be wanting that. I am not saying you would disagree with that, only bringing up a further point.

      1. I do agree. My traditional Liberal Arts education permanently transformed the way I perceive life, and has made it richer in the spiritual sense. AND, it never connected to a paycheck. For that, I had to go to “trade schools” and do standardized tests every week.

        I think we need both approaches!

      2. Yes, I totally agree to both approaches. I think that especially through high school a well rounded education is best, and through a bachelor’s degree, depending on circumstance. If someone, after high school, only wants a limited trade school they should have the choice, though they should understand the value of each. That said any additional education should not require a student to take anything outside their major for additional degrees. By that time one is going solely to focus on a field of work, where as when you are young you may think you know what you want, but often don’t. I went to get a second degree one time in environmental science and policy and found myself taking African History. I love history, studied history, even learning about Africa in my first degree. When I went back it was soley for possible employment purposes and I had to spend a bunch of money that as an adult was foolish. However, even in fields that are technical, morality, history, philosophy, and other ideas outside of one’s field may affect their job even if they don’t directly apply. Ethics, for instance, can apply to any field. And again as citizens of a democracy having some idea of the world at large is something that should be a must. Part of the problem is that our country values skills, but not knowledge, from an economic standpoint. Anyway, I am writing for myself as much as you, so I can think through this. I greatly appreciate your intelligent comments.

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