Don’t dismiss utility of written tests for students

The Herald’s recent feature inviting students to write to the editor has made for some interesting reading. It was surprising, though, to see the almost 100 percent opposition to standardized written tests, an opposition apparently shared by teachers, some of which would prefer oral testing.

Isn’t school supposed to prepare youngsters for life? If so, we are failing badly. Kids, think about it: The next “standardized” test you will probably face is the written portion of your driving test. After that will follow various SATs, entrance exams, pre-employment tests, military classification tests, bar exams, you name them; none of which are oral tests. Those will have to wait until the end of graduate school, if you get far enough to defend a master’s project or a doctoral thesis.

One teacher wrote in suggesting schools should determine whether a child responds better to orally stated problems than to written ones. First of all, teachers have more important tasks than that. Is it possible the student prefers oral questions because he/she has been promoted to the next higher grade despite poor reading comprehension? Let’s be realistic and actually try to prepare our youngsters for the challenges of their future world.

Frank Baumann


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, July 14

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Editorial: Retain Peterson, Ortiz-Self for 21st LD, House

The past experience and effectiveness of both lawmakers warrants their reelections.

Editorial: Reopen schools in fall, yes, but do it safely

Rather than bully schools into reopening, the president should secure funding to protect students.

Commentary: How Fauci, even when wrong, built public’s trust

He changed his earlier position on masks but, unlike Trump, was candid and explained his reasoning.

Commentary: For sake of health-care workers, wear a mask

Medical workers, facing shortages of PPE and overcrowded hospitals, need our help to slow the surge.

Comment now on Everett’s council districts plan

City Council districts for Everett are taking shape under the direction of… Continue reading

10th LD, House: Bruch will turn tide in Olympia

In the last few years I have become increasingly alarmed at the… Continue reading

Watch for efforts to suppress votes

To say that the November 2020 presidential election is important is perhaps… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Monday, July 13

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Most Read