My Daughter Isn’t Going to Help Testing Companies Refine Their Product


Last week I got an email from a parent at my daughter’s school that warned of an upcoming “field test” my kid and her classmates would be asked to take.

“Our third graders are scheduled for field testing in June,” she wrote. “Field testing is when Pearson ‘tries out’ new test questions by having a large group of students take a practice test.“

This was the first I had heard of field testing—as it was, judging from the replies, for many of the other parents on the group email. We were told that these were experimental tests that Pearson—a global, state-contracted test-maker—was administering to try out questions for future use. Since this came from a concerned fellow parent, we were also told we could opt out of the tests with no repercussions to our kids.

Testing is, obviously, a hot button issue. Earlier this month Louis C.K., the hottest comedian-dad…

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