Why I was horrified by the Melissa Harris-Perry MSNBC ad

Earlier this week I saw a news clip about new standardized tests that are coming to New York. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to tell you how these tests are different from earlier tests or what the pundits had to say, but it got my thinking about the standardized tests I took in high school. I distinctly remember a group of questions referring to drawings of analog clocks. Questions like, “If John’s train leaves at 11:20 and and takes two hours to reach its destination, which clock shows what time it will arrive?” I’m not sure what’s worse: that being able to correctly answer meant my math skills were up to par or that there were students in New Jersey who wouldn’t be able to answer the question. The most talked about question after the test came from the science section: “Which of the following is not a vegetable?” I don’t remember what the multiple choice answers were, but I think one of them was golden retriever.

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