educationThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to standardized testing

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree: 

Emperor’s Decree No.2013: The world is not a series of plastic chutes, lined up side-by-side and feeding into one another at prescribed intersections. The “real world” is a tangled jungle, rich with the heavy palm leaves and sketched over with arabesques of the vines of dark beauty and unpredictability. Therefore, we should go to school not to be ushered into the entrance of a plastic chute, but to be taught how to wield a machete; how to find our way by the sun; how to make shelter against an unexpected storm; how to appreciate the sunset even while the mosquitoes are sucking.

Our kids see a series of teachers for twelve-plus years. Each teacher has something to offer, either as an example of the good or as an example of the bad. Some teachers will make curriculum crystal clear; others will present lessons about life that are invaluable, even if at the expense of a perfect chemistry lesson. Twelve years of human interaction and assignments and grades are enough. We should, then, hand our kids the machete and let them loose to make their own way. They are not robots to be programmed but firework shells to be packed, fired off and watched in their hot-bright glory, bursting against the dark sky and falling in random patterns. We need to stop pretending we can turn out the perfect human being.

The Punishment: Legislators who continue to use standardized testing will have everything in their lives that brings them joy — everything that is not strictly necessary for their survival — taken away from them. After all, why waste time on things that don’t produce practical results?

Now, go forth and obey. 

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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2 Responses to “The Emperor decrees an end to standardized testing”

  1. Now that’s using the power of the emperor for good.

  2. Even he answers to a greater power: The inimitable Scootsus Hamhockus Maximus.

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