Here and Now

Looking Ahead at Florida’s Primary, Pawnshops Gain Popularity, School Board Member Says Standardized Tests Need Revision: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Mitt Romney is sounding upbeat today, saying he has overcome his setback in South Carolina and that he’s now ‘pushing back’ against Newt Gingrich more effectively. Gingrich is making a big deal out of the amount of money Romney has spent on ads in Florida, but says the ads won’t work. We’ll talk about what could happen in tomorrow night’s primary.

1:12pm: Once considered a last resort for the desperate, pawnshops are increasingly going mainstream, with brightly lit shops, Facebook pages, and Twitter campaigns. Part of the reason is the downturn in the economy. Another might be that the shops have been demystified by popular TV shows like the History Channel’s Pawn Stars.

1:40pm: Rick Roach, in his fourth term on the Orange County Florida school board, decided recently to take Florida’s standard math and reading tests for 10th graders. His scores? He failed the math test entirely, and scored a D in reading. Roach argues that the result shows something is seriously wrong with the test. “I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate,” he says. “I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities.” Roach’s critics disagree, saying every American with a high school education should know what’s in those tests. He joins us to talk about the test and education reform.

Arts and Humanities Local News

Grawemeyer Award Recipient Says IQ Tests Don't Measure Rational Thought

Today, the University of Louisville has announced the recipient of the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for education. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

education StanovichIn an era when standardized tests are highly regarded, one cognitive psychologist points out that they don’t measure rational thinking. Keith Stanovich is that psychologist and he gets the award for his 2009 book What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought. In it, the University of Toronto professor of human development and applied psychology finds answers to the question of why some people with high IQs don’t seem so sharp. His research shows standardized tests measure intelligence but not rational thinking.

Stanovich says his scientific research showed strong results early on.

“One of the things that jumped out at me when I started doing that research and became clearer, was that it was surprising how poorly standard intelligence tests actually predict performance on what a cognitive psychologist would call a test of rational thinking,” he says.

According to Stanovich, many people have the wrong ideas about standardized tests.

What Intelligence Tests Miss cover“When a lay person thinks of an IQ they’re prone to think that that an IQ test measures colloquially good thinking,” he says. “But most of us would tend to agree that good thinking encompasses good judgment and decision making, i.e. rational thought, the type of thinking that helps us achieve our goals.”

Stanovich says he hopes his findings leads other researchers to explore ways that could change our culture’s dependency on standardized tests.

“It could well cache out into more explicit attempts to develop measures,” he says. “And in our research we’re trying to contribute to that in the form of presenting a framework that will induce other researchers to take up this endeavor.”

Stanovich says his doesn’t completely dismiss standardized tests, but warns they have limits.

Each year, the Grawemeyer Foundation at U of L gives awards for education, outstanding works in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology and religion.