Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Romney Promises Teen He Won't Back Down from High Stakes Tests

Nikhyl Goyal: Considering standardized testing has increased to historic levels causing a lot of teaching to the test, billions of dollars spent, and killing creativity, how would you as president change this trend

Mitt Romney: I don't have a better model than a testing system.
And there ya have it.

Nikhil Goyal, the teenage author of One Size Does Not Fit All, presented Mitt Romney with a hard-hitting question during NBC’s Education Nation exposing the presidential hopeful’s extreme ignorance when it comes to education policy.

Romney made a patronizing attempt at schooling the younger and wiser student but as he uttered each word of his response his ignorance on the topic became uncomfortably clear.

Romney explained it this way...

First he said...
“You will find throughout your life there are tests.”

Really?  For most Americans, tests (including the one for driving) occur while we are in school. Many of us have not had another test after high school.  Yes, some people choose to take a one-time certification test, but...
1) They are extremely rare in “life.”
2) They are taken by choice, not forced upon us.  

Then he said...
“I don’t know a way to evaluate progress without tests.” Yikes!!!! So Romney’s ignorance on more effective measures of assessment should guide our nation????

I wished the audience had chanted:

“Ask the kid!!! Ask the kid!!!!.” 

Hell, Mitt had an expert right in front of him and it didn’t occur to him to ask for advice.  But if asking the kid or reading his book is too much for Mitt, he could just think about how we evaluate progress in life? Spoiler alert: It almost never involves tests!!!!

Lie and Ignorance
And after that he said...
“There is no other way that we’ve found out to determine if a student is succeeding or not and no other way to find out if the teacher is succeeding or not.”
Really? Is he telling the teen (who’s much more knowledgable than him on the topic) that this is it?  This is the only way?  Of course, it’s a lie, but is Romney too stupid to know he is lying or is he lying and just thinking the rest of us are too stupid to figure it out?  

Then he explained that...
“When I was governor of Massachusetts I took the graduation exam which assesses basic math and everyone should know basic math.”
As he explained the tests he goes on to describe geometry, algebra, calculus as BASIC math!  Really? Many of us Americans get through life mighty fine without those fancy basic maths known as geometry, algebra, or calculus.  It's basic for those who wants to follow pursuits that require these subjects, but this is not basic and it is not necessary for success in life for their entire population.  

Romney explains that he passed the graduation test with an, “If I can do it, anyone can” grin.  
Within that grin is held complete ignorance of the realities that many of our students have.  No, they don’t have tutors.  No, they may not speak English.  Yes, they may have learning disabilities.  No, they may not have basic health care. Yes, they may not have parents. And...No, they may not have spent their lives in elite private schools or being homeschooled!

Avoidance / Ignorance
Romney completely ignored the part of Nikhil’s question about the billions of dollars being allocated toward testing.  Feh.  Billion, shmillion! Let’s move on.

Teacher Bashing Finale
Romney wanted to drive his point home to the questioning teen about his fear behind no having tests.  You know what that was????

We can’t trust dem teacher folk.

He said this:
“I was afraid before the tests that teachers would go off on a different tangent than the basic math, english, and science that our kids need to succeed.”

We need these tests or those teachers are gonna go off teaching some crazy irrelevant crap.  

But, wait! There’s more.
Romney concluded with his promise to the people.  There’s more where this came from!
He explained, that we won’t stop here! “I’ve added science so people will get tested in biology and geology and so forth.”

And, he concluded...
“Let’s make our testing more effective and expand it ways that haven’t even been thought of!”

Wink Wink to the mega-billion dollar testing industry that more is headed their way.
The sentence
Then he admitted...
“I don’t have a better model than to say we’re going to evaluate our kids through some kind of a testing system.”

So there ya have it folks.  Parents, your kids are gonna get tested and test prepped to death.  The presidential hopeful doesn’t have a better model and gosh dang it, reading Nikhil’s book or those blogs educator’s write just ain’t on his agenda.  

You can watch the video here.

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  1. Wait! He's added science to the test? This from the guy who wondered why windows on airplanes don't roll down. More science we need...more testing we don't.

  2. The sad thing is, President Obama isn't any better when it comes to education. I seems that education is the one thing that both sides of the isle are closer on than anything.

  3. Well done and well said, Nikhil. Unfortunately I doubt Obama would answer much differently: managing by numbers has captured educationists as their best way to reform schooling.

  4. I have a problem with the "one size fits all" approach. I work as a substitute teacher and to see the disabled children struggle with basic math as in adding to single digits together. To make these children take a "basic math" test is cruel. It is true the test scores are higher in other countries. This is because not all take the test.