Tests We Like

Much has been said and written about standardized testing for school pupils. Hardly a novel idea, what is new is the widespread opposition to testing.

In New York State, some school districts report up to half their students “opt-out” of the recently administered math and English language arts tests.

As an aside, one wonders if schools are permitted to opt-out of teaching such students.

Anyone can hang out a shingle announcing they are a “Therapist” or “Advisor.” It’s buyer beware in the world of counseling and advice.

There are, however, some tests we seem to like and, in fact, insist upon (others) taking.

Physicians, for instance, must be certified by passing exams before practicing. That doesn’t seem such a bad idea.

Driving tests also seem a good idea to most. Particularly those drivers and passengers surrounding newly licenses operators. Even if driving tests make novices “feel bad about themselves” as one opponent to standardized school testing noted.

We seem to prefer that lifeguards pass some sort of test. Especially when it is we who is doing the swimming or, more significantly, drowning.

Hunting licenses and gun carrying permits often require passing tests before one may tote a firearm. Wildlife critters object to hunting regardless of testing or its results; humans with and without orange attire appreciate some kind of oversight.

And sobriety tests seem reasonable – unless it is we who are being tested.

Attorneys must pass the bar exam before they’re allowed to offer legal counsel. For those who failed the test noted immediately above, they’re glad to have lawyers who have passed their bar exams, regardless of the attorney’s performance on exams administered at the saloon.

Airplane pilots have to pass tests. If for not for anything else than ensuring the operator can turn on the autopilot. Or land a plane on a river.

Electricians likewise have to pass a test. So my house doesn’t burn down at the conclusion of their work.

And fire fighters also must pass a series of tests. So that when my house is burning down after being incorrectly wired by the unlicensed electrician, the fire fighters can actually pick me up and carry my fat, alcohol soaked behind out of it.

Not everyone passes the test, of course. Which means only that not everyone will become a physician, attorney, pilot, electrician or fire fighter.