brian_finalI have a 15 year old son who beats himself up when he doesn’t get straight A’s as he fears it will keep him from getting into a good college and getting a good job.

My favorite brother in law flunked out of high school because his undetected A.D.D. made it next to impossible to complete his homework though he aced all his tests. Now he’s married, employed as a welder, owns a home and is raising three awesome kids.

When my IQ was tested I was told it was 95. Huh? My SAT and ACT scores were in the mid teens. I wasn’t college material according to the scores.

That’s funny. I now have a master’s degree.

I read an article this morning in which a school district is asking the state to get away from standardized testing.

One of my favorite quotes from the article is, ”Every kid has his own way of learning.” The tests “make them nervous as the dickens; it takes away from the results of real world experiences.”

The greater measure of success will always be what a person can make happen in the world once they leave the classroom.

Our own way of learning

Life rewards each of us for the results we produce. No test can measure perseverance and resourcefulness. My brother in law and I have this in common, when we put out minds to something we find our way to it.

A test can’t measure that.

All my IQ score proved was that my brain doesn’t get up to speed until after the time allotted for much of the test had expired. The test is biased against slow starters. But in the tale of the tortoise vs the hare, the tortoise won.

I understand that these tests help measure a teacher’s effectiveness in indoctrinating students into the cycle of Read, Remember, Regurgitate and Repeat. A cycle mind you that no teacher I’ve ever met embraces as a recipe for success but one in which they’re mandated by non-teachers to teach.

But you and I know where true teacher effectiveness lies? It lies in the teacher that helps a student to believe in himself.

A teacher that takes extra time to help the awkward little girl navigate the complexities of math. The lessons learned are that she matters, people are there to help and that we can accomplish more with others than we can apart. Where’s the test to measure that?

My life and the life of so many others with special needs could never have been predicted by a test score because tests don’t measure the true ingredients of success. We know what those are don’t we? The people that don’t give up, that ask for help when they need it, that learn as much from what doesn’t work as from what does.

I won’t go on and on about how useless testing is in predicting where a person will take their lives. But I’m terribly concerned by how many people remain convinced that passing a test has anything to do with building a life.

Thanks for being you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian R. King LCSW is a Relationship Breakthrough Specialist. His breakthrough strategies draw on his experience as a 24 year cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, A.D.D., the father of three sons on the autism spectrum as well as someone who lives on the autism spectrum himself. His books and seminars have garnered him worldwide attention for his innovative communication and relationship strategies.

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