The M.U.R.I.C.A Project | Teen Ink

The M.U.R.I.C.A Project

March 23, 2015
By DannieCalifornia SILVER, Elgin, Illinois
DannieCalifornia SILVER, Elgin, Illinois
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose. - William Blake


  Although we stretch from sea to shining sea, the United States has not quite achieved perfection.  It is not difficult to see that we have a problem in our country. Although the U.S. has come very far in its few years of existence, there are still miniscule places in which we fall short. Self defense? There is at least one gun here for each person in the United States. Trades? The United States provides a fifth of the world’s GDP. Safety? The U.S. tops the list for the number of incarcerated persons. Unique fashion? The United States is number one in regional interest for jean shorts. However, in comparison to many other countries, we seem to have our shortcomings in education. If children are our future, how can we allow only one third of fourth graders to be proficient in reading? How come we are not in the top ten for science and mathematics?

   As a country of innovation and individuality, we have to do things our way. Countries like China, Germany, and Finland have all held back on standardized testing their students. Their education statistics have vastly improved and they have settled into using methodology that does not assume all students have the same abilities. Sure, we could follow along with them, but that’s not the American way. As the UNITED States, we must show togetherness in the way we measure our students. Children are our future.

  In order to further improve the way we test our students’ academic ability, we must form a test in preparation for them to take another test. This second test will be followed by a third and final form of the test, to see how much information they can retain from twelve years of education. Children may think they don’t need to remember when the train heading east from Los Angeles and the plane heading west from New York will be holding the same number of passengers as the speed of the boat heading South on the Mississippi, but with the “Meticulous United Required Institutional Comprehensive Assessment”, we will show them otherwise. The patriotic M.U.R.I.C.A. test will be all that matters to our students. This way, we can show our uniquely American test scores to the rest of the world.

   I know what you’re thinking - “Will this prepare them for after they graduate?” But why does that matter? Children are our future! After students pass the twelfth grade status, they are no longer children. Our focus will then be on the new generation of students. Who cares about preparation for jobs, college, and life when the United States can have excellent education statistics (in comparison to our own tests)?

   There are a few minor drawbacks to this testing: first of all, some students (who should be told otherwise) believe there is more to art than coloring in the lines of someone else’s drawing. This is incorrect. Although it will be difficult to tell them so, their educational success will depend on their ability to fill in stars. Therefore, you must prepare your student in every way possible - show them how creative they can be with our “Made in the U.S.A.” coloring books, including twelve different star sizes. In order to prep them for the M.U.R.I.C.A. test, we must standardize their free thought and creativity, too. The only way to think is the American way! The M.U.R.I.C.A. test uses blue paper, only compatible with white pencils, to keep them patriotic. In order to further Americanize our methods, their tests are corrected in red ink. Students who do not perform well on these tests must attend a summer camp on why the M.U.R.I.C.A. test is vital and important. Educational cartoons will show the future of the United States without standardized testing - one in which terrorists and wars are prominent, all because children did not perform well on their exams.

   People will argue that this discourages unique thought (which is supposedly more important). And that we should base students off of their individual talents, instead of select skills that only a few will ever use again. They think that it would make sense to toss these standardized tests altogether, allow students to take classes pertaining to future careers and life skills, but that’s absurd. These are beliefs posed by “freethinkers”, who are really just anti-American. Children are our future; why would supposed freethinkers be so opposed to progress?

Most importantly, education - measured the American way - is based on what the children do while inside the institutionalized learning centers (prior to higher education). What they do later on is not of our concern, because once they are adults, we have a whole new group of children to worry about! Although other countries think it is important to prepare children for their careers, they can figure all of that out in college. Why would we treat children like they have different preferences? We’re all American, and human, so we must show the American value of unity.

   As children are vital to a country’s growth, keeping sharp minded students who know how to fill in stars for the M.U.R.I.C.A. test will be our priority. Why allow children to focus on what they want to do when they graduate, when we can just standardize test them instead? People say that this will set our medical and technological standards lower. And that we will have less capable professionals. No one even bothers with those statistics! Maybe the United States will not be the next country to find the cure for a pandemic, or invent a pill for immortality. Even if everyone in this great country perished, at least we could say our children scored highest in standardized testing (disclaimer: only standardized testing issued by The United States and not other countries, we are not to be held liable for poor scores on more commonly used foreign tests), our main priority. Children, who are the future, must be standardized, so that our future is also standardized in unity.


The author's comments:

A satirical piece on standardized testing.


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