Exciting news, readers! The day after I posted my review of Making the Grades, by Todd Farley, he emailed me. As you know, I have an ever growing wall of fame of my intellectual rock stars. I felt as delighted to hear from Todd as some of my students would be to hear from the rapper, Drake! He wrote me:
"Naturally, I have a Google alert to tell me when something is written about my book, so I saw your post about it/me yesterday. Just wanted to say thanks for the shout out."
No need to thank me, Todd. You are the rock star who outed the standardized testing industry. You deserve a trophy. A gold medal. At least a free dinner at The Olive Garden (Nah, come to town, we will take you out to BlackFish, seriously our treat. We love it there and we owe you big).
Readers, I personally loved reading this book in print. My yellow highlighter was running out of ink there were so many sickening, scandalous things to mark. That said, Making the Grades, is now available on Kindle, where you can underline and highlight electronically (which can also be quite satisfying).
I read somewhere that Todd now has kids of his own and asked him if he would opt them out of standardized tests. Here is his response:
"As for us, when my two boys go to school, I can promise you that Pearson et al will have no say in their lives/futures/educations. I've been much too deeply involved in the development and scoring of tests -- for Pearson, ETS, ACT, AIR, Riverside Publishing -- to think that the testing industry is anything other than one enormous, lucrative boondoogle for those companies (and, okay, me when I worked for them). What, when I want to hear how my children are doing in school, I'm going to ask for the input of a bunch of multi-national, for-profit corporations in a completely unregulated industry that has a history of errors? Ridiculous idea. Opt out? I won't be opting out if the standardized testing companies try to get involved in my sons' educations--I'll be storming their corporate offices with pitchfork in hand......"
"...storming their corporate offices with pitchfork in hand..."
And that, dear readers, is why I add Todd Farley to my rock star wall of fame.