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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Do You Remember Any Tests From Your Childhood?

Stop and think for a moment, what were your favorite memories from elementary school, middle school and high school?  Which memories come to mind first?

I have next to no memories of tests in elementary school.  It doesn't mean I didn't have them.  I only remember my parents helping me study once for a spelling test.  I spelled brother "B-O-T-H-E-R!"

Instead of tests, I remember playgrounds, hot days, sprinklers, books (The Mixed-Up Files... and fantastic works of the imagination by Enid Blyton; I found them to read with my own children) and a friend's Mom helping us churn out homemade ice cream.  Life was good.  Nobody called me a failure...or made me feel that my worth was dependent upon the good graces of Pearson.

Do I remember any tests in middle school?  Not really.  I know I had them though.  I remember studying French with my Dad.  I had a blackboard and amid the studying I might find inspiration and write unrelated things upon it.  J'aime les Beatles!

I remember more tests in high school, perhaps, because the stakes grew higher.  I remember Red Barrons books.  I studied on my own, without teacher or parent, with one major exception.  Mom coached me through the Calvin and Krebs cycle to a 5 on my Bio AP.  Sorry to say the cycles are all a blur to me now.  

All in all, tests played a very limited role in my early years.  They certainly did not cause anxiety or promote illness.  I don't remember any of my friends banging their heads on their desks or vomiting atop their test papers.  

In college, I, doubtless, had the least testing of all.  There were only one or two blue books a semester.  Sometimes, a final would be a paper completed outside of class.  Most people never see another test after they leave school.  Yet, ed. "reformers" believe we need to live and die for test scores.  Their obsession bears further inquiry.  What must their childhood have been like or have they forgotten it?

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