Category Archives: Standardized tests


A Student Says No to Standardized Testing

Contemporary America is constantly working toward diversity. We have become an accepting group that recognizes difference in politics, race, religion, and love. But there is one frontier that remains unexplored by the pioneers of diversity, one facet of American life that can’t seem to escape the plague of standardization: education.

College seniors find themselves facing yet another standardized test, the recently created Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+). First, there were the tests in mid…


Teaching Writing Through Personal Reflection: Bad Idea

A pointed topos has emerged among English educators in the media in the last few years. It concerns a statement uttered by the educator David Coleman at a gathering of many educators in Albany, hosted by David Steiner, then-Education Commissioner of New York State, in April 2011. At the time, Coleman was the lead architect of the Common Core State Standards, the education effort sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers that set out to draft new standards in mathematics and Englis…


Our Fractured Meritocracy

Psst! Want to hear about the latest fiasco? Everywhere you look is another book, article, or blog post reminding us of the dubious success of meritocracy in the United States. Unending scandals—MF Global, Knight Capital, Madoffgate, Liborgate, Peregrine—suggest that the system ostensibly selecting and training society’s current leaders is seriously flawed. Even universities are not immune, as the recent scandal at Penn State has shown.

What’s wrong today is not meritocracy, per se, but rather ou…