Good grief indeed. It is Ken Sullivan’s antiquated thinking will have the United States far behind in innovation and growth (“Fewer tests mean less learning”).
The testing he speaks of only measures capabilities: a student’s ability to solve a known problem and to memorize and regurgitate absolutes. Today’s testing does nothing to measure a student’s intelligence, imagination or aptitude. Today we need students with greater capacity. Capacity is the ability to solve for the unknown. If we want to prepare our students for life, for the future, for the unknown, why a testing system that only measures absolutes?
I’m glad Mr. Sullivan mentioned the old military slogan about getting what you inspect, not what you expect. My experience in 20 years of service and 11 combat tours helped me realize that this way of doing things only established a force that was compliant, not one that was disciplined. In combat, we want discipline: soldiers who can think and adapt in an ever changing, complex environment. We changed how we educate soldiers in basic combat training and beyond. I was proud to be a part of that effort.
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