For those of you no longer in school, isn’t it great that we don’t have a test today, or tomorrow? Have you noticed that kids these days are taking way too many tests in school? Two things seem obvious: 1) everybody agrees there’s too much testing, and 2) no one is doing anything about it. I would add a third point here, which is the fact that kids don’t learn anything from all this testing. In other words, if you compare students who have taken lots of tests to students who have taken few, often times the kids who had less testing are better off. In law school, we had one exam at the end of each semester. No quizzes. No midterms. One final exam, that’s it.
There are a few countries out there that, supposedly, have the whole “education thing” figured out. Take Finland, for example (teachers love Finland, right?). Kids in Finland spend very little time in school, and very little time on standardized tests, taking only one standardized test in their final year of high school. Now, before you decide to overhaul our entire system in the US, it bears mentioning that Finland has a population of 5 million. We have 326 million people. And, there are pockets of the United States that score higher than Finland, so should Finland adopt the educational systems of those parts of our country which score hire than Finland?
I remember some tests in middle school that, basically, were designed to see if we kids could follow instructions. Here’s the basic format:
Teacher: “Alright class, take out your pencils. Read all the instructions before writing down your answers.”
Test: “1. What is 12 times 14? 2. What is the capital of Texas? 3. What is your principal’s name? . . . 20. Don’t write any of your answers on this sheet.”
Yes, this is a sneaky test, and the teacher paces the classroom with a big smirk as the kids frantically write down their answers. Eventually, I caught on to this trickery. I would lock eyes with the teacher as if to say “I can follow instructions, I’m with you, look at my idiot classmates not following instructions….” This same sort of failure to understand the “meaning of words” is why we’ll be looking examining a violation of probation case today. We have a probation officer, a prosecutor, and a judge–none of whom can follow fairly simple instructions. Fuentes v. State, 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 7801 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2017). Continue Reading