End-Of-Grade Tests Are a Big, Giant Mess

Post #137 from Dr. Crankenfuss, The World’s Awesomest Raving and Rapping blogger –

Today, I’m kind of steamed, just like my picture at the left shows me. Hey, I know that’s not unusual, but it’s just that I actually like to learn stuff and sometimes that learning actually takes place at school. It really does. But not lately. Our math and English teachers keep giving us these practice tests for the EOG tests, (That’s End-of-Grade Tests, where they supposedly measure how much we’ve learned.) But we’re not learning anything from these practice tests except how to take the tests. Hey, I already know how to take the tests. Yeah, it might help some students. If they listened. But I don’t think they are.

Anyway, I put it all into a poem. I didn’t learn anything from the poem — me being the author and all — but maybe it’ll get my idea across better.

by Dr. Crankenfuss

It’s getting near that time of year
When schools try to measure our progress,
But the method they use just gives us the blues.
It’s not accurate; it’s really just dog mess.

What makes someone smart? What sets us apart?
They ought to give us some problems,
Then examine our thinking, be it amped or stinking,
And see if we’re able to solve them.

Instead they give us a multiple choice test,
They don’t even know if we’ve read it,
We can just have a fling, fill in anything,
And we’re sure to get partial credit.

What about assessing our creativity,
Or gauging our determination?
Spotting leadership ability,
Or skills in communication?

Schools know how important test results are,
How they affect our hopes and dreams,
So who do they put in charge of our future?
A bunch of grading machines.

These tests hurt kids; they get discouraged,
And then our schools can lose them.
If the tests are so great, why are we
The only country to use them?

We all want to learn, so please engage us,
Don’t just “teach to the test.”
If machines are to be our evaluators,
How can we achieve success?

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss


Post #136 from Dr. Crankenfuss, The World’s Awesomest Raving and Rapping blogger –

Oh, Dr. Crankenfuss was ready with a great sports idea yesterday. Yes, Dr. C was going to change the game of hockey forever–revolutionize it, you know–and everybody would know his name. But it turns out he was sadly mistaken and as a result, still very few people know his name. Oh, well. I’ve got lots of time left to come up with some earth-shaking ideas. (At least, I hope I do.) Anyway, here was the idea:

I figured a hockey team could hire the biggest sumo wrestler in the world, a guy like six hundred pounds or so, and they could make him the goalie. All he’d have to do is kind of crouch, or even sit, in front of the goal and he’d practically cover the whole thing up. The other team would be so ticked off, but there’s nothing they could do. You can’t score a goal through a 600 pound wall, can you? The result would be a complete shutout for the Crankenfuss-advised team and certain fame for Dr. Crankenfuss, just like that guy who invented Moneyball for the Oakland A’s. (He was played by Brad Pitt in the movie.)

I was already set to post this idea, send it off to Sports Illustrated and maybe the Nobel Prize Committee, when I did some internet research first. Aw, drats! The idea had already been thought of and shot down on several different forums. (Type “fat goalie rules” into your search bar and you’ll find the same discussions I did.) So here are the reasons my hockey idea turned into bull hockey:

1) Even if the idea did work, it would only work for one game. Once all the other teams saw the earth-sized guy stopping all those shots, every team in the league would sign up a similar type guy within a day or two. Nobody would ever score again and the league would shut down from lack of attendance. (To give myself some credit, I thought of this one on my own before I did any web research. The ones that follow I found on those forums.)

2) The hockey goal is 4 feet high and 6 feet long. Even a super huge guy couldn’t cover all that space up. There would be little spaces left open, like at the upper corners. And–I didn’t know this before–hockey players are so good, they could hit a lot of those little spaces. Now not all the time, but enough times to still score because a guy who weighed that much wouldn’t be the most agile dude around so flailing his arms wouldn’t stop a lot of the shots. (I found this amazing video on YouTube put on by “Sports Science” that proves this beyond a doubt. And it’s really funny too. I can’t believe only half a million people have seen it. It deserves more airplay than that.)

3)The are NHL limits on how big the pads can be on a goalie. That’s so they can’t wear five-foot wide pads and stop the puck that way. The trouble for our hypothetical sumo goalie would be that the pads would be way too small for his giant body. So most of his body wouldn’t have padding on it. So the other team would slapshot the puck over and over into the poor goalie’s body at 100 miles per hour or so. You know, to soften him up a bit. Youch! After ten minutes, he would have puck sized dents in him. Heck–and this is a scene I came up with all by myself–the puck would probably get lodged into his body and they’d have to call a time out to get a rescue squad in to get the puck out. It could be jammed like six or more inches into one of his fat rolls.

So even though my idea wasn’t as original as I thought, I still learned a bunch by researching about it. So I thought I’d pass the info along. And you got to see a very cool video as well.

From Your Dude with the ‘Tude,
who’s always tried to exude
new ideas imbued
with goodness (you know, like health food),
Dr. Crankenfuss