Testing Times

The beauty of a blog is that it gives an opportunity for a little rant now and again. It won’t change the world, of course – but a little healthy debate never did any harm. So I begin with a little ditty I offer on my concern for the current ‘educational experiment’. I guess it’s only a matter of time before we wake up to the nonsense of constantly seeking to quantify learning with simplistic and meaningless measurements. After all, if we only value those things which are seemingly measurable, what hope is there? Someone will doubtless come up with league tables for creativity, inspiration and even love – then we’d really have the human condition nailed!

The Proof

When I was born, the midwife smiled and weighed me on the scales.

She measured me from head to toe and wrote down all details.

“Now here’s the proof – we’ve got the truth; assessment never fails.”


When I was two, the doctor smiled and measured pulse and heart.

He wrote down numbers on a pad and drew lines on a chart.

“Now here’s the truth – we’ve got the proof; assessment is an art.”


When I was five and went to school, they tested us each day.

They noted sums I couldn’t do and words I couldn’t say.

Now here’s the proof, we’ve got the truth; assessment shows the way.’


When I moved up from primary school, each week we were assessed.

They set us targets, made us stressed… then set another test.

They found the truth, they had the proof; assessment is the best.


They printed spread-sheets every term to prove my work was poor.

Computers analysed results in IQ tests, and more.

They found the truth, they had the proof; assessment gives a score.


The world now measures proof and truth – with vigour and great rigour;

As education makes the grade, each child becomes a figure.

But… however much you weigh a pig, you’ll make it grow no bigger.


When I expired, I went above to meet with my Creator,

Who smiled and said, “I’ll let you in, and then a little later

I’ll show you hell – that burns so well… from all that flaming data!”



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