Why We Need More Testing

This story about kindergarten testing went viral. Not surprisingly, there were many anti-testing comments, especially on the more liberal leaning sites. In the smartist era and in the meritocracy, we need more testing , not less, to help help identify gifted and slow students. Whether it’s an IQ test or a proxy such as the SAT, testing is the best way to assess individual general cognitive functioning for large groups of people, as well as identity exceptionally talented individuals.

How are we supposed to cultivate the next generation of scientists and tech superstars, many of whom attend public schools, if we let political correctness get in the way of good policy? The left has trouble accepting that cognitively, some people are superior to to others, and these differences can manifest in all sorts of aspects of society from income, to entitlement spending and crime.

Perhaps one reason why so many people are failing to participate in this strong economic recovery is because they simply aren’t smart enough. Their skills are obsolete, and they cannot adapt to change fast enough, so they get permanently left behind. The emphasis on profits & earnings and the hyper-competitiveness of the post-2008 economy has created a macro environment where the best and the brightest are thriving, while everyone else is treading water in a state of just barely getting by.

More testing raises the stakes for everyone, meaning that the overall population becomes better educated and competitive, in order to do well on the tests.

Many smart students find coursework boring and get poor grades, but excel at standardized tests, because they already know the material.

There was a fascinating tedx talk awhile ago about how standardized tests, contrary to being useless as often ascribed by the left, can predict lifetime outcomes such as wages, being published in a journal, level of academic attainment, and so on.

A common retort is that cognitive testing is inaccurate for young people, because their minds are still developing. Yes, except that smarter people develop faster, and these differences between individuals are reflected in the IQ score. A higher score means faster development. Furthermore, IQ can be measured reliably from the age of 3 and typically remains stable throughout life.