American educational system is broken. Many of us have first hand knowledge of this or have heard others talking about this. For more than half a century or so, politicians and school administrators have been taking of the urgent need for improving our children's education. They are taking and spending more of our tax or fee dollars on education, and yet the same time the results are only getting worse every passing year. American school children, even from educated families, are performing badly in international student assessment tests. Most students don't even have the basic math and science skills required for college or succeed as adults. The author has first hand knowledge of this when he was an engineering professor at a top research university in Massachusetts, wherein he saw most junior year undergraduate students unable to do simple calculus problems that even high school students in Asia routinely do.
Added to this, the system is becoming increasingly bureaucratic, with layers and layers of administrators that waste parents', students' and faculties' time and dollars, in ingenious ways! You would think that such a system would not bother testing our children too much right? Unfortunately you are wrong. The testing agencies, states and schools have created countless number of tests under different names (SAT, SHSAT, Hunter exam, ACT, 20 SAT Subject tests, 37 AP exams, 21 Regents exams, ELA, SSAT, ISEE, MCAS, CAPT, GED, HiSET, TASC, NNAT, OLSAT, etc.) and force students to take these exams each year, instead of giving two or three meaningful and purposeful tests during the 12 years of schooling. Just like we are a nation of over-prescription, we are also a nation of over-testing! The testing situation is so out of control that even President Obama recently commented on this. The testing agencies range from grossly incompetent to utter reckless, and play with our children's futures: Tests have been leaked, written answer sheets have been lost, wrong exams have been given, exam topics are being changed just to get bigger market share and the list goes on.