I myself have been a proud standardized test hater for quite some time now. If asked for my opinion, I would happily share with you my thoughts on the educational irrelevance – and even harm – of such exams. I would confidently let you know that most standardized tests are skewed in favor of higher socio-economic brackets, or perhaps against ethnic minorities. The SATs and other standardized tests are fundamentally flawed, I would pontificate. And anyone who cares to argue is probably an antiquated relic of decades past, a teacher stuck in his ways, unenlightened and obtuse.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Just one month ago, the United States celebrated Black History Month. The nation has much to celebrate, as great strides in racial equality have been made across various planes of society. However, Time.com recently reported on a study by the Department of Education, which indicates that the work is far from finished. In fact, according to the report, fundamental racial inequality persists in the world of education.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain
Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies on the planet today: not really. In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman interviews the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google Inc., Laszlo Bock. The interview is a fascinating window into the work culture of the internet’s leading search engine, as Bock discusses the traits that the company seeks in its new employees. The bottom line: we are no longer living in the employment market of the 20thcentury. A college degree –once an assumed necessity for professional advancement- is simply not what it used to be. On some teams in Google, nearly 14% of the members have received no college education.
America is in a state of crisis. It isn’t what you think. Yes, the country is polarized politically, and congress is earning some of the lowest approval ratings in history. Sure, the economy has seen better days and our debt is astronomical. Crime and poverty continue to plague many of our cities and towns. But I’m focused on the biggest problem of all, on the source of all of our problems: homework. We simply aren’t assigning enough of it.
If only our teachers would stop and think for a moment: How can we better educate our youth? How can we develop young men and women with character? How can we raise leaders for the next century? If they were asking these questions, they would clearly come to the one, and only one, conclusion: homework. Homework is the answer to all of our woes! Let’s briefly review (as if it requires explanation…) just a few of the benefits of menial tasks homework.