Amazing fourth grader speaks out against standardized testing


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When she denounces bad testing programs, she’s speaking for me. (And quite adorably, too!) But she loses me when she opposes any testing. Educational standards must be neither carelessly crafted nor abandoned entirely.

In Finland there are no standardized tests until matriculation at 18.
They seem to do alright.


Very impressive for a person of that age to deliver a speech so well. And her points I thought were excellent.

Here in NY there is a huge Opt Out movement of the Common Core testing.

Education standards have been carelessly crafted since there have been education standards. I think that’s because their creation and modification have always left out the most important element: the individual student.

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I had a teacher in high school that told us that the tests he gave us were actual for him. He explained that he used the test to get a better feel for how well we were understanding his teachings. He said he used them to know when he could move on, and when he needed to review more.He explained that if we were not doing well, it meant he was not doing well. I think he had it right. He also would say that if you guys would be honest with me when I ask if everyone understands, I wouldn’t need the tests to really see if you got it.


Ok, this is my burning question that has confused me for years.

If anyone wants to see how well a student understands things, why not look at the work and grades of the things they’ve been doing the whole year?

I mean, they’ve been learning the stuff and getting graded already. Why test them AGAIN?

I never understood the standard test. Just look at the damn stuff i’ve already been tested on.

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The point is to test / assess / measure / evaluate i.e. judge the (monetary) value of a teacher standardised testing has nothing to do with the students.

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Sydney for president?

The problem I have with any discussion about standardized testing is that it always devolves into an argument with fifteen different sub-arguments where people are arguing vociferously about different things. I have yet to see this complex issue unpacked in a meaningful way. My own bias is to argue that the primary problem with the educational system and the way we talk about testing is the way it seems to be intensely focused on the creation of better workers rather than better citizens. Testing has become about providing equal opportunity or creating a “level playing field.” Yet I don’t see people often question what it’s a level playing field for. I see the American educational system veering, panic-stricken, towards a paradigm that emphasizes the value of education as a means for creating a workforce that gives variety and diversity for a shrinking number of employers to have more choice and more human resources.

Standardized testing is the answer to (or the bane of, depending on your perspective) dwindling economic security, and the demolition of class mobility (i.e. meritocracy). So we resort to the same measures taken by countries that have had issues implementing meritocracy, like India, which uses high-stakes standardized testing. This is one of the reasons that people who work in civil rights circles tend to like standardized tests. So-called “holistic” or “gut” evaluations strongly disfavor applicants from traditionally persecuted groups. Rubrics, however unsophisticated, at least provide individuals with reliable benchmarks that they can work towards.

There is, in some part, a solution in all this that involves creating a society that allows someone to work a low-prestige job and not fear starvation, or death from medical neglect. However, it cannot be the whole answer. Much like this eloquent young lady urges us to look at the whole student, I urge us all to look at the whole problem. We must decide, first and foremost, what public education is for, before we decide where we want to go with it.

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I have seen this before, but I can’t find it on the Boing. Does anybody remember where?

And believe me, it’s horrible!

I don’t know why you guys are trying to copy the worst aspect of our system, especially at a time we’re desperately trying to change it…

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You lose me when you misrepresent the opinions of a fourth-grader.

Beginning at 1:17, she clearly states that she’s in favor of testing throughout the school year, specifically suggesting milestones at the beginning, middle, and end of the year.


The 9 year old did a great job but the camera man only gets a 1/10. He didn’t pan to show the school boards slack jawed faces. Or their expressions of surprise that they just got a beat down from a child.

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Did you actually listen to the whole video? She actually says testing milestones is necessary. Repeating because I feel it’s necessary. I suspect you either didn’t listen to the whole thing, or didn’t give it your full attention. Which is a shame.

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