Test Scores Are Completely Useless, Says This Top Tech Company

in Fail/Grab Bag/WTF by

Well, well, well. As a retired public school teacher, I find this bit of information both validating and completely enraging.

If you are a student, a recent graduate, a parent or a teacher, you know that for the past 20 years this country has been completely obsessed with the importance of “data” and “test scores” to measure student success.

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We have a national curriculum (the dreaded “Common Core State Standards“). We have state tests, we have a national test (the PARCC). Teachers have to use materials that are aligned to the standards. They have to constantly assess the kids progress toward the standards.

Kids have to sit through test after test after test, even when they’re only 8 years old.

Teachers have been complaining about this for years. No one in the world of educational administration gave a hoot and no one listened.

Now, at last, the people who really matter have spoken!

Test scores are useless! Grades and grade point averages? Meaningless! You can’t possible judge how well a person will do in the real world of work and creativity by looking at mere numbers, these geniuses say. No, no! Give us no hard data, no scores, no numbers!

And who are these wise sages who understand the complexities of the young mind so well?

It’s the big hiring gurus at Google.com, that’s who.

Laszlo Bock is senior vice president of people operations at Google. He told the New York Times that:

“One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.”

Now, let’s remember that Google is one of the best places to work in the United States, according to employee satisfaction surveys and industry reports. They encourage creativity and innovation. They value collaboration and problem solving.

And they studiously ignore standardized test scores and classroom grades.

Teachers, principals, curriculum specialists of America! You were right all along. This whole focus on testing and more testing is a giant, expensive waste of everybody’s time.

We knew it all along.

Featured image by Alberto G. via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

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