AT First I Couldn’t Spell “ACT” But Now I Get To Take One

Our state education director in the face of challenges to a new law requiring all 11th grade students to take the ACT decided to take the test himself. A task that I would not easily have undertaken. He scored a laudable 27 and in the last line of an editorial in the local paper about his score the editorial writer asks, “What if he had scored a 19?” A better question might have been what would you say, to the many 11th grade students who are going to be forced to take this test regardless of their desire, ability, language skills or social situation. Students who won’t be seeing a score like his 27 or even the 19(about average), that was so easily denigrated as being potentially embarrassing to Dr. Glass by the editorial writer. Those less able students, often because of no fault of their own, instead will find themselves looking not at a score of 19 or 18 but many will be looking at a “1” or a “2” composite on the ACT, memorialized on paper and in their permanent records, and wondering deep down inside just how “dumb” they are!
Forcing all 11th grade students to take the ACT will be heartless , generally meaningless and for many, otherwise valuable children, emotionally and socially destructive. It is but one more example of political posturing without any regard to the human results.


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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3 Responses to AT First I Couldn’t Spell “ACT” But Now I Get To Take One

  1. dubiousme says:

    I personally detest standardized tests, I suck at them. That said they are a necessary evil given our societies need to weigh, measure, and judge one another’s abilities. The truth of the matter is that regardless of whose fault it is (be it the students innate lack of ability, societies failure in education, or the families failure in placing sufficient emphasis on education) an unprepared student in the world of higher education gains little given their lack of ability and also detracts from the education of others by decreasing the ambient intellect (which is 90% of a students learning). It is too bad but we must be judged, and those who fail must either be remediated or allowed to fall away.

  2. Wendy Prigge says:

    Well stated! Why do we have to keep repeating the same, dumb, one-size-fits-all solutions. To what problem is the ACT test a solution?

  3. thelastgasp1 says:

    I agree…but, does the test periodically uncover a “diamond in the rough” that should continue their education with some type of assistance (coaching and/or financial)?

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