1/32nd OF A CHEER: STATE CALLS FOR AN END TO STANDARDIZED TESTING

1/32nd OF A CHEER: STATE CALLS FOR AN END TO STANDARDIZED TESTING

May 28, 2020 By Joseph P. Farrell

When "B" sent along the following article about a state in the USSA calling for an end to standardized testing on its college entrance requirements, I thought "finally!" with a sigh of relief. "Three cheers for them!" I thought.

My joy was soon clouded over with grief and despair when I read that the state in question was California. My "three cheers" were thus reduced to 1/32nd of a cheer:

So long, standardized testing: University of California regents unanimously vote to drop SAT and ACT admissions requirements

And here's the part that reduced my three cheers  to 1/32nd of a cheer:

The University of California Board of Regents unanimously voted to suspend the SAT and ACT testing requirements for freshman applicants through 2024 and eliminate them for California students after that – a plan proposed by Janet Napolitano, the university's system's president.

“Today’s decision by the Board marks a significant change for the University’s undergraduate admissions,” Napolitano said.

Instead, the UC system – which includes about 280,000 students across the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley, and seven other undergraduate schools – will focus on creating its own test "that better aligns with the content the University expects students to have mastered for college readiness" and its values, according to a news release.

In the book Rotten to the (Common) Core, my co-author Gary Lawrence and I outlined a case against standardized tests not only by looking into the rather loose practices of that "industry" not only in scoring such tests, but in the questions that were actually found on some of those standardized tests like the SAT. Referring to a little-known late 1950s and early 1960s controversy between mathematician Banesh Hoffmann (a friend of Albert Einstein), and the Education Testing Service in Princeton, which owns and administers the SAT.  One of the actual questions that appeared in the physics portion of an SAT test became a target for Hoffman in an article that appeared in Harper's Magazine, and which was later included in Hoffmann's book, The Tyranny of Testing. The question was this:
65. Potassium metal loses electrons when struck by light (the photoelectric effect) more readily than lithium metal because
(A) the potassium atom contains more protons than does that of lithium
(B) the valence electron of potassium is farther from the nucleus than is that of lithium
(C) potassium occurs above lithium in the electro-chemical series
(D) the potassium atom contains more electrons than does that of lithium
(E) the potassium nucleus is larger than that of lithium.
As we stated in the book, Hoffmann noted that the "correct" answer that the Educational Testing Service wanted was answer "B." And there, Hoffmann pointed out that a well-informed student would be punished by the test, because a process of reasoning could be advanced for all the answers being correct. This individual will immediately see that answer B is possible.
"But he then sees that answer D accurately (if ungrammatically) states the reason why this is so, namely that "the potassium atom contains more electrons than does that of lithium." Thus, the student may sensibly conclude that while B is a correct answer, D is a correct answer too. And D is a more profound answer than B.
     But out student is not finished. For he realizes that the reason why there are more electrons in the potassium atom than in the lithium atom is to be found in answer A: the atom of potassium "contains more protons than does that of lithium." Thus, if D is a correct answer, so is A. And A cuts deeper than D.
     Finally, he hesitates to dismiss E, knowing that the nucleus of potassium "is larger than that of lithium" because it contains more neutrons and protons. Thus, if A is a correct answer, so also is E.
     In view of the above, most of us would agree with the College Board that the question is 'difficult.' But with us this is merely a matter of opinion. With the test experts it is an 0bjective, scientific, no-nonsense fact based on statistics. Of course, the statistics do not reveal that the wording of the question is vague. Nor that, if the wanted answer is a correct one, so are three others. Nor that the examiners have chosen the most immediate and superficial answer, thus penalizing candidates with more probing minds as they so often do. Can we be complacent  when we know that such questions are used by so many of our colleges to assess scientific talent?" (Rotten to the [Common]Core, pp. 45-46.)
We then commented on this as follows:
By pointing out the ambiguity and superficiality of the question and its "correct" answer, Hoffmann is once again throwing light on the value and validity of the appeal to statistics, for if statistics are compiled on the basis of faulty questions, what is their value for the claim that such tests are scientific and objective, and measure anything but the incompetence of the test-makers? (Ibid)
But we lack any such reasons or argumentation here, for Hoffmann's critique of standardized testing was a philosophical one. California's regents' objections cite no such reasons, but rather, advance the idea that they will come up with their own standardized tests that are reflective of the university system's and state's "values", which moreover reflect the "content" that the state expects its students to "master." We get a clue of what's coming down the pike from these statements:

The UC system's vote could be a turning point in the long-running debate about the equality of standardized testing, which critics have argued are biased against low-income and minority students and favor wealthier students whose families can afford to spend thousands of dollars on preparatory courses.

Last year, a coalition of civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the UC system because of its use of testing scores for admission. The group said that its SAT and ACT requirement discriminates against students who can't afford testing preparation.

“These tests are incredibly sensitive to socioeconomic status and race and have nothing to say about the individual,” said Alisa Hartz, an attorney with Public Counsel, the Los Angeles-based pro bono firm that filed the suit on behalf of students and advocacy groups.

In other words, we can expect more social engineering in the form of "new tests," and more bias against students that actually know something and are able to think, and more bias for students willing to memorize and regurgitate California's "values." We'll find more "advocacy," and precious little academic discipline. Tests will "adapt" to the student.

Gee, that sounds a lot like the whole Common Core scam, and its "adaptive tests."

Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish if you're a corrupt billionaire busybody, heavily invested in the overpopulation narrative, and vaccines of all types, computerized and otherwise, with the Fauci-Lieber virus narrative?

See you on the flip side...