Challenge #02334-F144: Unexpected Testing Results
Due to the educational curriculum, I am unfortunately good at regurgitating information. Thus, my speaking patterns are about 90% references. -- Anon Guest
Shayde didn't like the SPOEns, mostly because they disturbed her on an emotional level. This was a pity because, as a group, they were among the few that could understand her. Rael, one of that select group, had to reflect that it was the fault of the pre-shattering education system of the late twentieth century.
Creeping featurism on a system designed in the era of steam had to mess kids up. The fact that Humanity hung onto it for an entire century after it was no longer necessary was a testimony to how ridiculous Humans could be. The advent of computerised assessment systems just made things worse.
It began with a need for clerks to do the paperwork. Thus, education focussed on having a neat hand and an ability to recite multiplication tables. A grounding in classical literature and the ability to comprehend the written word for nested information was also important to the managers of the era of steam. Then the world changed... War disrupted everything. Leaped technology forwards, and the system once reliable began to decay.
The aggressive majority could not run the country during a war that took them to the front and left the previously silenced minorities behind. They took up the slack, and realised that they did not need the aggressive majority to run the country. Social revolutions changed the workplace. Educational testing, once used on one select group, was applied to those previously excluded. The results... were judged to be offensive, because the minorities performed better than the ruling populations.
Therefore the administrative peers did the only -to them- logical thing. They altered the test to prove how the minorities should remain minorities and those in power were naturally superior. Once a false superiority was established, technology leaped forward again with the rise of digital technology. Standardised tests, with multiple choice options, came to the fore. School funding became tied to the students' performances in such tests. In the wrong order, of course. Those that performed well got more funding.
This lead to schools teaching students how to pass the tests. Some with increasing desperation because school funding was also tied to surrounding property values and demographic zoning dictated that some groups and associated areas would never have the money they needed. Which was just the way the majority liked it.
However, the minoritized groups rebelled. They could see how the system was rigged against them and did their utmost to defeat it anyway. Their volume lead to successive efforts to improve an already broken system more than half a century out of date. Which, of course, resulted in the only thing that the automated systems could judge fairly - more standardised testing.
It reached the point, in the earlier half of the twenty-first century, where classes were teaching how to pass a test that would be delivered at the end of the week. The system finally broke when it finally became public that students were learning more from the internet and independent sources than they ever did from their hours in formal schooling.
Shayde was from an era somewhere in the middle of that entire mess. Forced to absorb entire quotes and recite from memory at the drop of a hat. Able to pick one of five potential options as the correct answer to a question. Her education also left her with a tendency to speak in references that only a SPOEn, or someone like Rael, could understand.
It wasn't her fault. It was her environment. Rael knew this... and yet... This was the fifth time today that someone had enquired if interviews with Shayde came with a reference file so they could understand her.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / vixit]
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