Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Marilynne Robinson on standardized testing

Novelist and essayist (and Iowa Citian) Marilynne Robinson, in an interview for The Nation:
I hate the whole business about standardized tests, which implies that everyone should have basically the same aspirations and satisfy the same norms, and what could be more destructive, you know, of the sense of individual personality than that? The thing we know—the thing we know is that people are highly individuated, in terms of their gifts and their proclivities and their interests. We tell ourselves this all the time, but we don’t educate people in a way that makes it possible for them to respond to the fact that this is true. We don’t, you know. I mean it’s more and more regimentation. I think this is a terrible choice, and destructive, and I think that we can only do it because we tell ourselves this thing about our comparative failure as educators.

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