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The article is about standardized tests and the fact that a smart person could only get about 10 of 60 math questions geared toward 10th graders. Remember that show "are you smarter than a 5th grader"? Made a lot of adults feel dumb. Who needs to know when George Washington died? But that does not mean we don't need standardized tests. We have to have a way of measuring effectiveness. Even if you decide to teach junk, you want to test to see if they kids are learning what you teach, otherwise why bother.

That being said, it is certainly possible that bad tests are designed.

I have been pushing the Kahn Academy web site here and have been running through some "courses" for fun. I did well in college and took advanced math classes, but it is amazing how much I have forgotten. As I sample through the math videos, it comes back to me, but if I had to take a 10th grade math test cold, I bet I would do poorly.

So in the end, we have to have a way to evaluate our teaching and out students. I would prefer to test and correct very frequently as a way to evaluate. There are some successful systems out there that require testing at least every two weeks. Then like a 6 sigma production factory, anomalies and trends are evaluated continuously. Students that are a little behind get more attention. Students that are a lot behind are pulled out of class and given extensive attention until they are ready to run with the class. Our use of technology in the school system are deplorable. It's like we are using an abacus in a supercomputer world. With technology, we can relieve teachers of many tedious tasks, like grading math problems and let them concentrate on the students.

BTW: Social promotion must be ended!
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