014: Public Education is Wah Waah Wah Wah, Part Deux


From the Korea that grounds all planes so that students can focus on the college entrance exam, and from the state that teaches public school students that Moses was the inspiration for democracy, this is MēMē Call. In this episode, Paul and Wayne finish their discussions about public education with KAIST professor and KAIST Podcast host Mik Fanguy.

Direct Link to Audio: https://audioboom.com/posts/6815087-public-education-is-wah-waah-wah-wah-part-deux.mp3

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ChitChat (03:06)

Paul ponders the stigmas associated with the names of tools and improves his mechanical expertise, and Wayne discovers Blinkist. Wayne can blink like a motherfucker! Also, Paul and Wayne will try their best to make MēMē Call a weekly podcast.

This Episode’s Guest

Mik Fanguy is a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology or KAIST. He is also the host of the KAIST Podcast.  Additionally, Mik is a published researcher.

Standardized Testing (06:19)

There’s a list of G items for why standardized testing sucks.

The earliest standardized tests come from Confucianism.

Chinese people had to take government tests before being placed “appropriately”.

In the West, we can trace standardized testing to the Greeks.

In the US, educators began implementing formal student testing in the mid-1800s.

College entrance exams began to find their place in the early 20th Century.

During this time, specifically in 1905, Alfred Binet started his work on the development of what would eventually become the IQ test.  This is why it’s called the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test.

Army testing during WWI caused the largest expanse of standardized testing.

The SAT came about in 1926.

The 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act really opened the door for increased use of even more testing.

By the end of the 20th Century, students found themselves taking numerous tests for college entrance and other reasons.

Student take tests to prepare for the tests!

In 2001, No Child Left Behind implemented testing to determine SCHOOL performance.

Most kids take at least one standardized test each year starting in elementary school.

Standardized testing does serve a purpose, but we hold it too high regard.

Standardized testing:

1) Holds students and teachers accountable

2) Gives parents more info on their kids’ performance

3) Establishes accepted standards

4) Provides vital data on sub-group learning opportunities.

However, people began to identifying problems with standardized testing not too long after the tests became entrenched in the US education system. 

It’s far from perfect, but…

In the US we have extremely stratified education.

Clearly we need a test, but…

Think of all the people each year who need to be evaluated.

I think that ST serves its purpose, I just think…

Some of our greatest successes in this country didn’t do so well under these paradigms.

We wouldn’t be where we are if we had to fit the mold all the time.

You have to have a set of standards, but you have to find a way to adjust to individual differences.

We rely on standardized testing too much. It can’t be the ONLY thing we use.

My university went to a more interview-based system…I’m not convinced that it works.

Despite some inefficiencies, multiple choice has its perks.

Kids are going meta…they’re gaming the game.

Usually standardized testing is a one shot deal…oh, wait…

In what world does participant bias not exist?

University is a place of performance.

Don’t forget the test has evolved so much since we took it.

And that’s why we invited you on the show!

How do you remove bias from standardized testing?

Standardized testing, for the most part, fits the mold.

That’s kind of the point of our show…memes are cultural genetics.

What is a good measure of someone’s learning?

If someone can reverse-engineer an answer from the measure…that’s a good measure!

Wayne still calls them interwebs…geez.

Mik changes Wayne’s mind.

What does the world look like without standardized testing?

Do you think letters of recommendation are really worth anything? Or are they disingenuous?

My kids definitely have goals because they want to overachieve.

Mik steals Wayne’s thunder with a FLASH MEME!!!


34 Problems with Standardized Testing
16 Biggest Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing
Is the Use of Standardized Tests Improving Education in America?
The Problem with Standardized Testing
Supreme Court Brief Shows Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit
The Case Against Standardized Testing
History of Standardized Testing in the United States

Khan Academy and More (031:50)

He looks like a guy that’s fucking enjoying the Guiness!

Sometimes we treat the internet and it’s content as a cafeteria of life.

Spot learning.

The problem is, when you go to University, spot learning doesn’t cut it.

When I went to university, it wasn’t just about getting the information.

If I could be paid to go to college I would, cause I love learning.

Khan Academy isn’t a snore fest.

One of the bennies of University is access to experts.

Talk about open education resources.

My aim isn’t to bash Khan Academy.

When you think about online courses, you’re thinking video, and passive learning.

Lectures have been criticized for legitimate reasons.

I think that there is still value in lecture, but the online methods show us a new approach.

Some things don’t work in a task-based approach.

I want to understand the building blocks.

What do you mean by “flipped learning environments”?

There’s a lot of peer instruction that can happen.

Flipped learning gives a lot of control to the student and provides focus in the classroom.

You can’t rewind in lecture hall.

You think about carrot and stick…I prefer not to use stick.

I do worry that we’re offering them less than half a course.

The right approach will effect internalization of the material.

Khan Academy

Next Episode

What was the occupation of the father of the author of the Pledge of Allegiance?

A – A political activist who promoted nationalism
B – A conman who got theological answers from his magical hat
C – A Baptist Minister
D – An unintentional liar who taught kids that fairy tales were true

Answer this correctly at memecallpodcast.com or at the MeMe Call Republic on Facebook, earn a chance for us to give you a shout out on the next episode.

Farewell & Gratitudes

We want to thank Xavier Lee and Mark Calvin for passing us the answers to the MēMē Call entrance exam, and we also want to thank Aidan Clancy for returning from his business trip and doing fuck-all with this episode. We want to thank Mik Fanguy who you can find on the KAIST Podcast one more time for joining us on this episode. We would be remiss if we didn’t thank our patrons, and of course, we want to thank the Blue Tits.

Leave us a review on iTunes or at memecallpodcast.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts on Public Education with us.

Paul Pascal
Wayne Valley

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