Day 139 (of 183) check the oil all you want….. connecting standardized tests with life
I have a car that I fill with oil and check the gas. It runs okay. (I follow the guidance of one of my mentors who recommended driving the worst car you can because you don’t want bad things happening to a nice car). But while I’ve been checking and maintaining the oil level, I only kinda noticed some other fluid issues as well…..but I was focused on ‘the one’.
Coincidently, my school has also been selected to do the ePIRLS test (for international ‘oil check’ of the BC/Canadian education systems). So….while standardized assessments have value: especially for identifying learning challenges, giftedness, etc…they don’t tell the whole picture. In my own family one test had my boy with a math disability, another had him as a genius…..they are ‘a’ tool, not ‘the’ tool. This of course spreads into the use of “all” tests (and especially the ones not norm-referenced) – they have value for some, at some times, but not always or for all (might be biased by having not written any provincial exams, but still turning out okay…)
So while standardized tests tell “a” picture, I like to create a simile: like checkin the oil. Doesn’t tell us about the tire pressure, but it does a great job telling us about what “one thing” we are looking for….as long as we are clear on what we are looking for, and use the information to provide feedback on that…and only that. Inferences are okay, but they aren’t certainties and no warranty-guaranteed services!
But…..when you focus too much on “one thing” there are other things you miss. Like me and the radiator fluid…..that I had to top up….a little more frequently than previously….and when driving my kids home the temperature gauge was a bit high….and the transmission was a tad…abrupt….but I had just topped up the fluids and the oil was good….until we stopped and the kids asked why so much steam was coming out the front of the car, and why liquids were coming out the bottom. The radiator certainly seems to be ‘done’….
So….I had a car….