Synopses & Reviews
We’ve been told time and again that standardized tests aren’t perfect but that they’re the best tool we have to make important decisions. Is this really true? What are the flaws of such testing? Why is your father’s occupation a better predictor of SAT scores than virtually any other factor? Whose interests do these tests serve? And, most important, what can we do to hold one another accountable to standards at all levels of schools and in the workplace? Standardized Minds dramatically shows how our unhealthy and enduring obsession with intelligence testing affects us all, from the day we enter kindergarten to the day we apply for that corporate job. Drawing creative solutions from the headlines and the frontlines, Sacks demonstrates proven alternatives to such testing and details a plan to make the American meritocracy legitimate and fair.
Sacks offers a hard-hitting examination of the ways in which standardized tests sustain the privileged and punish the poor, complete with a plan for meaningful change in schools and in the workplace.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 317-334) and index.
Table of Contents
Meritocracy's crooked yardstick -- Inventing intelligence: the origins of mental measurement -- Babes in test land: the sorting begins -- Crusade: rise of the test-driven accountability machine in our schools -- Crime and punishment: how the accountability machine hurts schoolchildren -- Great American dumb-down: how the accountability machine harms schools -- Do no harm: stopping the damage to American schools -- Unnatural selection: testing in the American workplace -- Standardized minds: thinking styles and the testing game -- The big business of testing -- Authentic achievement: assessing performance in American schools -- Harmful admissions: why the meritocracy needs fixing -- Beyond the SAT: merit that matters.