HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Education (Group) » John Oliver perfectly sum...

Mon May 4, 2015, 04:50 PM

John Oliver perfectly sums up everything that’s wrong with standardized testing

We finally get a champion on the left--and it's on a comedy show. Satire is probably the best way to get people to understand the testing-industrial complex though.

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/04/john_oliver_perfectly_sums_up_everything_thats_wrong_with_standardized_testing/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

"The fastest way to terrorize any child is to utter the words “standardized testing,” according to John Oliver. And that’s a big problem when you consider just how much of one’s fate rides on this complicated metric in our day and age. Oliver used Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” to investigate how the anxiety-inducing practice has gotten so out of hand that proctors now have instructions on how to handle puking kids in their test booklets.

“Something is wrong with our system when we just assume a certain number of kids will vomit,” Oliver said. “Tests are supposed to be assessments of skills, not a rap battle on 8 Mile Road.”

Oliver directed most of his shade at President George W. Bush for signing the No Child Left Behind education act into law which would, in turn, be passed down to President Barack Obama and supplemented with his own series of standardized tests. However, his best shots were saved for Pearson, “the educational equivalent of Time Warner Cable.” (“Either you’ve never had an interaction with them and don’t care, or they’ve ruined your f**king life.”)


5 replies, 1451 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply John Oliver perfectly sums up everything that’s wrong with standardized testing (Original post)
Starry Messenger May 2015 OP
Warpy May 2015 #1
Starry Messenger May 2015 #3
brer cat May 2015 #2
Igel May 2015 #4
ladym55 May 2015 #5

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 06:11 PM

1. I was a lucky kid, great at taking those stupid bubble tests

but I knew too many kids who were just as smart as I was who froze and performed miserably on them. I've worked with smart women who graduated at the top of the class in nursing but who had trouble with the stupid nursing boards. They knew their stuff backwards and forwards, they were just bad at that testing format.

The only way these stupid things will be remotely useful is if they're taken anonymously and followed per teacher and per school over multiple years and if schools with large proportions of non English speaking students and students in extreme poverty have those taken into account.

It might be nice if Florida stopped testing blind students with flash cards, too.

Yeah, they do that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Mon May 4, 2015, 08:59 PM

3. I saw that news report.

I was looking for the video to post here, but now can't remember where I saw it, darn it. It was incredible heartbreaking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 06:38 PM

2. One of my granddaughter's

classmates throws up every time they have these tests. Poor little guy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brer cat (Reply #2)

Tue May 5, 2015, 08:31 AM

4. Some people just have testing anxiety.

That's not to defend standardized tests.

One woman I knew failed her PhD comps twice because of it. Four questions, three hours to write, 2 sentences.

A friend in my undergrad days always showed up at the last minute for the tests in the courses we had together when the rest of us would hang out in the hall. She'd be deathly pale, and would have spent the last 30 minutes in the bathroom upchucking.

In fact, standardized tests are less painful than those two kinds of tests. It took a psych eval to get the woman readmitted to taking her comps a third time under radically de-stressing conditions. And the poor friend who puked her guts out every time a test came along--midterms or final or one of the tests in between, whether on paper or practical, she just had to take the grade she got.

Standardized tests, at least the ones I've seen, have repeated administrations. Screw them up in the spring, take them again in the summer. Then in the fall. Then again in the spring. Until you graduate. (I have seniors this year taking their freshman English tests for the ... um ... 10th time, I guess it is. And every year there's more tutoring and remedial work, even accommodations, to help them to pass their tests.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2015, 05:40 PM

5. The line about Pearson is the best

Anyone who has ever had anything to do with that Klown Kar agrees with everything Oliver said: "they've ruined your f**king life."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread