Pharos-Tribune

Columns

July 23, 2013

MARCUS: Testing for a better society

Eugenia Evergreen in her extra earnest voice asked, “Do you believe in testing?” It was as if I were being asked if I believed in abortion, the right to choose, or the Grand Canyon.

I did not know if I would shock her or gain her approval when I said, “Yes.”

Clearly, she was disappointed. “Subjecting children to the anxiety of adults is wrong,” she declared.

“You are right,” I agreed. “However, testing is necessary to increase the probability of desired results. I believe in testing applicants for drivers’ licenses to make sure they know some of the rules of the road and can manage a vehicle in traffic.”

“You know I’m not talking about that kind of testing,” Genie said in what passes for flirtation in her book. I’m talking about ISTEP or some other statewide test afflicting young children.”

“I know that’s your concern,” I responded with sympathy, “but testing is the best way to gather information about a whole host of issues. If we want to find out how third graders are reading, then testing them at the end of the third grade or the beginning of the fourth makes sense.

“If we want our future voters to know the basics of civic literacy, then we need to teach the subject with the basics in mind. To find out if we are succeeding, then we should test the students. Testing verifies outputs rather than relying on inputs like hours taught.”

“It is stressful for everyone,” Genie insisted.

“Stress is something everyone needs to learn how to handle,” I responded. “Should we stop playing little league baseball because each at-bat is a stressful experience for the batter, the pitcher, and the fielders?”

In the following silence, I said, “How do you feel about drug testing for recipients of welfare, disability and unemployment compensation?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

  • MARCUS: Hoosier workers not gaining on the nation A few readers of the South Bend newspaper have sent emails complaining that either they do not understand my columns or that I waste their time by not sticking to the facts. That I include some of my conclusions from the data seems to be an irritant.

    August 19, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Stock market guru will work for food At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion dollars. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has becom

    August 19, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Craft brewers and vintners return to fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week. When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putt

    August 18, 2014

  • LYONS: Climate change deniers resort to attacks Recently a friend posted a video on Facebook that he asserted would demolish the Godless theory of evolution. On it, a fellow sitting in a pickup and wearing a backward baseball cap smugly explained that Darwinian evolution contradicts the Second Law

    August 18, 2014

  • KNISELY: Heading back to school It never ceases to amaze me the wildly different views my nieces have of getting ready to go back to school and actually going back to school every year. As school time approaches, they are ecstatic about all the stuff they get to do. One of those th

    August 17, 2014

  • Stu Engle P-T columnist sig ENGLE: Motivation that stays year round Every year I hear from students, “I will do better in school when I get paid for it.”My response, “What you are learning today will determine your future pay.”The mind-set for some teens exists in short-term benefits. They live in the here-and-now. A

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • STANCZYKIEWICZ: Mental health and suicide Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a Major League Baseball pitch

    August 17, 2014

  • CEPEDA: The matter with class culture ”In every walk of life, there are senseless rules, payoffs and shakedowns, quirks, unjust rituals,” explains Jerene Johnston, the matriarch of the privileged Southern family so deliciously skewered in Wilton Barnhardt’s irresistible novel “Lookaway,

    August 17, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.