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Is Standardized Testing Too Good? April 18, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in discipline, education, school, science, Sparks of Genius, standardized testing, underachieve.
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Remember those achievement tests you took in Elementary School? Well…

It turns out that those achievement tests you took in elementary school may have a lot to do with where you are right now. Researchers gave I.Q. tests to adults in their mid-40s and compared each person’s score to their elementary school achievement test scores. Over 40% of their I.Q. scores could be accounted for the achievement tests. That is a high correlation.

But wait, there’s more.

IQ and achievement test scores also predicted income, occupational status and the education level of these 40-somethings.

The livescience.com report (http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/070416_achievement_iq.html) raises an important issue, namely how school influences accomplishment. “People seem to be locked in to outcomes at early ages,” said Douglas Detterman, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. “It means we don’t know very much about education and optimizing education for particular individuals.”

Say that again, please. “It means we don’t know very much about education and optimizing education for particular individuals.” Wow, that’s a mouthful.

So here’s today’s True-False question for you. “Optimizing learning for each student is what education should be all about.” True or false?

The multiple intelligence model encourages and even demands that we begin the task of learning optimization for each student.

I say “True.” The multiple intelligence model encourages and even demands that we begin the task of learning optimization for each student.

As Dr. Dettermen says, “People seem to be locked in to outcomes at early ages.” I remember reading The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home by Jonathan Kozol many years ago. The theme was that the education system indoctrinates students with myths, ideologies and lies and turns out not good, ethical people but good citizens.

“People seem to be locked in to outcomes at early ages.”

Well, for so many students currently attending school, that night is still dark and they are far away from ever purchasing or even renting their own home.

Parents bring their elementary school students to Sparks of Genius http://www.sparksofgenius.com with labels like ADD, LD, ADHD and PDD. We focus on identifying and nurturing the many ways they are smart. Students get lots of attention training and cognitive training. They also learn to be more responsible for their learning. To defy labels. To move beyond limitations set by others.

The education system indoctrinates students with myths, ideologies and lies and turns out not good, ethical people but good citizens.

The noted pediatrician and my mentor, William Crook, told me the key to helping students become more successful is “psychological vitamins.” This was 35 years ago and he was right. Achievement tests do not make kids happy. I.Q. scores do not make kids happy. Labels do not make kids happy. Igniting their sparks of genius makes kids happy.

–Dr. Rohn Kessler

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