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AMAIRIKUHN EDGYKAYSHUN: A LOOK BACK, AND A SHUDDER FOR THE FUTURE ...

July 24, 2015 By Joseph P. Farrell

Regular readers here know that every now and then I simply have to vent on the deplorable state of Amairikuhn edgykayshun and over the wreckage of what fifty years of standardized testing and "progressive" educational "theory" have done. The problem will reach new heights of insanity in the coming months- particularly as the USA is entering yet another presidential selection cycle, when the sound bites and platitudes will reach new depths of innaneness, triviality, and venality. Both front-running presidential candidates - awaiting their annointing from the powers that be and the fake computerized "election" - have, not surprisingly, both bowed to the latest gimick - Common Core - and its corporate backers who stand to gain a lot of money from all of the nonsense.

Well, this article shared by Mr. C.S., if nothing else does, should convince even the most hardened skeptic that edykayshun in the USA is a shambles, for imagine giving this test to the modern American high school student (and, I suspect, even to a few college professors):

8th Grade Test From 1912 Shows How Far American Education Has Been Dumbed Down; Can You Take It?

Now, making adjustments if you're a reader in, say, Australia, Canada, The U.K., France, or wherever, and I think you'll agree that presenting such a test to a modern student, educated along the American "model", would be a challenge.  For one thing, the sexes are, you'll note, still sexes and not -in yet another modern misuse of words - "genders".  The test is also comprehensive and, as might be expected, focused on the peculiarities of American geography and history. It takes a little effort to imagine such a test translated, say, to an English public school at the same time period: "Sketch briefly the history of the Roundheads vs. King Charles" or "Outline the five most significant points of the Glorious Revolution" and so on, but you get the idea.

But there is one thing about this test that stands out above any other, and that is the underlying philosophical assumptions about what education is, and must be, and what it can never be under a regime of standardized tests and Pavlov's bells ringing every fifty minutes, for there are no multiple choice questions here. There are no "fill in the oval with number two lead pencils" choosing among pre-selected answers, which, under the best conditions, allow the student to exhibit no nuance of thought, and which under the worst of circumstances, might simply be incorrect. There is no reduction, here, of knowledge and education to a mechanism which, in turn, is evaluated by a machine which has been programed by remote and anonymous "experts". The assessment and evaluation process remain non-mechanical, and localized, for the test demands real knowledge, and real interaction from the student, in that she or he must write his or her answers, and hence display literacy and thought, to another human being who knows the student and who will evaulate their response. One student's list of significant things about the Glorious Revolution might be quite different than another's: one might stress the changed relationship between the Crown and the bureaucracy, another might stress William III's establishment of the Bank of England, and so on, and then they would have to give their process of reasoning for doing so, and this process itself is the central issue, not whether a student is able to select the correct "answer" from a pre-selected list of answers compiled by anonymous experts and graded by a machine.

So, for all those teachers out there about to have their profession completely undone by Common Core and its standardized testing process on steroids, my hat's off to you. For those of you who don't know, that mechanical assessment process of the standardized test is nw going to be "personally adjusted" for each student!  By what criteria? We don't know. By whom? We don't know, for the experts compiling the questions, and designing the algorithms for those "personal adjustments", remain anonymous and utterly out of touch with the local classroom. How evalutated? Again, we don't know...

But one thing I can assure you, if those experts were to take this test, they probably wouldn't fare too well...

See you on the flip side...