In the above article, Susan Engel, a developmental psychologist in the department of psychology at Williams College, argues that our current K-12 standardized tests do not "measure something meaningful" other than "the likelihood of achieving similar scores on subsequent tests."
Engel suggests to focus academic testing of "things we value" and outlines seven abilities that kids should master. She refers to testing that psychologists and economists have relied on to explain subtleties in "mechanisms that explain when and why we give in to impulse, the forces that govern our moral choices, and the thought processes that underlie unconscious stereotyping." Engel suggests to rely on "good research and representative samples rather than testing every child every year."
Engel proposes seven skills that every child should master and we should measure:
1. Reading 2. Inquiry 3. Flexible Thinking and Use of Evidence 4. Conversation 5. Collaborations 6. Engagement 7. Well-being
We spend lots of time, effort and money on incessant academic testing. Test preparation and test-taking stress out our children as well as our teachers. Engel's ideas are great food for thought:
Why not measure things that our children need in life?