High stakes tests are stressful on children and not a sound measure of learning

Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on the 5by5 Network.

Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on the 5by5 Network.

If you want to hear the discussion on standardized testing hit the play button above and slide the the progress bar to minute 27:15. They once again mentioned one of my tweets at minute 51:50. 


I've been an avid Podcast listener since almost the beginning of the medium. One of my favorite podcasters is Merlin Mann. I first heard about Merlin on "Mac Break Weekly" back in 2006. At the time he was known for his blog 43 folders and for translating the Getting Things Done methodology to the Mac and the available tools on that platform. So when he started a new podcast named "Back to Work," I started listening.

Back to Work is a talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. After years of listening, last week Merlin and Dan talked about standardized testing, how those tests work and how it makes their respective children feel. So, I when they asked for listener feedback, I had to respond. I heard that episode while in Burlingame for the CTA Board meeting so, I quickly wrote an email to them giving them my perspective and sharing CTA's flyer on parents rights to opt out their children from these tests.

I hadn't heard back so I just figured my email got lost in their inboxes. but this morning Merlin sent me an email asking if it was ok to mention my name and my position with CTA, of course I said it was ok.  Not only did they read my letter on the show but they used it as a way of continuing to discuss the problems with standardized testing.

It felt good on different levels: people I've admired used my input on their show and more importantly It felt good to take the opportunity to advocate for our position on standardized testing and sharing our resources on the rights of parents to opt out their children to a broader audience.