Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

A little background: In the long-ago-land when I was taking standardized tests, my classmates and I were presented with a "constructed response" (writing) topic that asked us "If you could repeal any law, what law would you repeal and why?" That's kind of a banal question, and I wrote a typically banal answer while crossing all the 't's and dotting all the 'i's to get my score. Then I spent the next 45 minutes drawing little cartoon characters in the test booklet.

But what impressed me was that not just one but two of my classmates, upon reading the same question, argued effectively to repeal the law. of. gravity. I was blown away by this clever little trick for middle schoolers.

But this test-taker takes it to a whole other level. In response to the CRCT (Georgia's version of the LEAP), this is what wunderkind decided to do as a way to kill time:

"After this, I was very annoyed. What am I supposed to do for the next forty-five minutes? I've finished and checked my work twice already. I decided to write in my test booklet instead of drawing aimlessly. I wrote notes to the editors of this book, hoping that they would read them. Notes about how this questions is worded enigmatically. Or pointing out the blatant cheesy endings in the readings. I told them about the questions that I thought had two answers. I explained to them that the pages with "No Material" are understandably mislabeled. A little smart-alec-y, but I think I proved my point about misleading questions. I think they haven't read the notes though."
That has got to be the absolute best reaction to a standardized test I have ever heard of, ever.

What I really wanted to point out was the eerie similarities between the CRCT situation in Georgia (statewide) and the LEAP situation in Louisiana (statewide). I also wanted to share what this kid's opinion of the Georgia test is, and who he thinks is to blame for it (teachers). This is an interesting viewpoint (both the post and the comments) from someone not involved at the top end of education policy.

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Oh wait, that's not yet the end. For the real education wonks - here's some more thoughts on the CRCT and some more notes on education. Its so late, I can't even digest that last post yet. I'll try again later.

All links here started at the Georgia Blog Carnival.

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