Curriculum

Turning the Tables: Teens Design Test

By Lynn Olson — February 15, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Students who are sick of standardized tests have turned the tables and challenged adults to take an exam that teenagers designed.

The General Assessment of Grownups, or GAG test, measures how much parents, teachers, principals, and other adults know about teenage culture.

See Also

A link to the GAG test is available from Cottonwood Press.

Middle and high school students from California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Wisconsin wrote the questions. Participating teachers asked students to write questions they believed young people just about anywhere in the United States could answer. The items were compiled and condensed into a 50-question test by the project’s sponsor, Cottonwood Press Inc., a Fort Collins, Colo., company that sells educational products.

The test includes such items as: “How many numbered Grand Theft Auto games are there?” “Where is ‘South Park’located?” and “What does LOL mean?”

“Any kid who is into mainstream music, video games, and TV—which is the majority of youth today—could easily ace this test,” Zachary Miller of La Junta, Colo., said in a press release. The 16-year-old took the test and got an A.

Unfortunately, this reporter got an F, or only 56 percent correct. “Where have you been the last few decades?” the online-scoring report asked.

In fact, most adults don’t score above a D or an F on the test, at least if they’re older than 30, according to Cheryl Thurston, a former teacher and the president of Cottonwood Press, who came up with the idea.

(Of 23 Education Week employees who took the test, 12 got an F; seven, a D; and four, a C.)

“This focus on testing is insane,” Ms.Thurston said in an interview. “People are focusing on the tests to the exclusion, I think, of real learning. I just think it’s ludicrous, and I just wanted to point out the ludicrousness of it by letting the kids construct the test.”

This reporter, at least, better ask her teenagers for some tutoring.

A version of this article appeared in the February 16, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Explainer Social Studies and Science Get Short Shrift in Elementary Schools. Why That Matters
Learn why the subjects play a key role in elementary classrooms—and how new policy debates may shift the status quo.
10 min read
Science teacher assists elementary school student in the classroom
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Finance Education in Schools Must Be More Than Personal
Schools need to teach students to see how their spending impacts others, writes the executive director of the Institute for Humane Education.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Curriculum Q&A Why One District Hired Its Students to Review Curricula
Virginia's Hampton City school district pays a cadre of student interns to give feedback on curriculum.
3 min read
Kate Maxlow, director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Hampton City Schools, who helped give students a voice in curriculum redesign, works in her office on January 12, 2024.
Kate Maxlow is the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Virginia's Hampton City school district. She worked with students to give them a voice in shaping curriculum.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Curriculum One School District Just Pulled 1,600 Books From Its Shelves—Including the Dictionary
And the broadening book ban attempts may drive some teachers out of the classroom.
6 min read
Books are displayed at the Banned Book Library at American Stage in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 18, 2023. In Florida, some schools have covered or removed books under a new law that requires an evaluation of reading materials and for districts to publish a searchable list of books where individuals can then challenge specific titles.
Books are displayed at the Banned Book Library at American Stage in St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 18, 2023. In Florida, some schools have covered or removed books under a new law that requires an evaluation of reading materials and for districts to publish a searchable list of books where individuals can then challenge specific titles.
Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP