Tested to Despair

Stop high-stakes testing from destroying public education.


Do you have a standardized test question that is developmentally inappropriate? If you aren’t sure what I mean by that, watch this little video of a little girl who just can’t master such easy math concepts. What’s wrong with her?

Indiana ISTEP for 3rd grade, 2011:

I probably had to write a thank-you letter when I was 8 years old, but I doubt I ever had to write an invitation. Why would a third-grader know these conventions (which by the way are as obsolete as sending a telegram)? And now that I look at it, I have NO IDEA which answer they are looking for. I thought it was “B” – but now I see there is no mention of a lake in the rest of the letter. So maybe I put this question in the wrong category. Please advise.



5 thoughts on “Piaget

  1. You simply cannot say “by this age they should understand conservation.” Understanding comes when it comes. What a teacher does is expose children to the opportunity to experience, count, reinforce, talk about, practice and, as I have seen in my many yearts of teaching experience, seemingly suddenly understand. You can’t make children understand things before their brains are ready to understand them. Can’t be done. What a teacher has to figure out is what do they need to understand BEFORE they can understand this new concept.

  2. And sometimes what they need to understand it is simply some time, preferably spent messing around with stuff.

  3. Just wondering why they are going canoeing “down by the river” as opposed to IN the river…?

  4. What??? Why aren’t all of these answers right?

  5. While I agree that this is a ridiculous question, I think the answer they are looking for is C. Both A and B refer to a lake, whereas the rest of the letter refers only to a river. D is inappropriate because there is never a mention of fishing made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s