What standardized tests don't measure | Nikki Adeli | TEDxPhiladelphia

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Alarmingly, 44% of American students in grades 6-12 do not feel a sense of self-worth at school. Philadelphia high school junior Nikki Adeli knows firsthand the challenges that young people face navigating standardized tests. Through the story of her own real-world educational experiences beginning in Mississippi by way of Iran, Nikki reminds us all that the value and purpose of schools is to grow a citizen not produce a good test-taker.

High school student and public education advocate Nikki Adeli is an active citizen. As a Youth Commissioner to Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Nikki represents the city’s youth in public hearing and gives testimony that reflects the youth perspective. She works with the City, non-profits, community organizations and private entities to develop strategies to improve educational opportunities for Philadelphia’s youth.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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It's not, you go to school to learn, no. You go to school to learn to pass test. Really the only thing you learn in school is how to pass test. And really that is the only important thing.

I believe in standardized tests. It's like a factory model set-up. It's much more efficient if you are producing engineers or doctors. Reserve the philosophizing part on the Liberal Arts. Anyways, not all that you've learned from school are applicable anyway.

I want to see the slides. Why is this TED camera-person only follows the speaker? She is photogenic but I am interested in the contents of her talk which has been great.

I hate tests, i had to quit what i actually loved doing because i failed social studies. When i told my mom that i was not going to be a politician when i grow up, she got really mad at me.

My goal in life is to be happy.
To be happy, I feel drawn to music, art, science, language arts and math.
I also feel drawn to alone time.
I want to get good grades (nothing lower than an A, not even an A-), but in the end, some of those A’s won’t matter very much in the careers I’d like to do.
So I ask myself,
“Why do I even bother getting straight A’s in the first place if they won’t help much in the future?”
The answer?
I have a desire, or ambition, to prove everyone wrong about me.
I want to prove to everyone that I can be just as academically gifted as anyone else.
But what is happiness?
It’s subjective.
I guess, in a very real sense….
Everything is relative.

Great job Nikki! I currently leave in Hattiesburg, Miss. and I am so incredibly proud of you! I hope that Mississippi Children can experience what you experienced in High School. Standardized testing remains a huge problem here and there are not a lot of state elected officials challenging it. There is no data to show how standardized testing is harming children. As a journalist, I collect and present as much data as possible to the public — but you know how things can be here. I hope you are doing well today! You are going to do great things in the future! Keep pushing Nikki! Do it for the kids in Mississippi.

We let corporations and corporate mentality take over America including our schools. The most important things can not be measured. The message all these assessments send over time is nothing from the past is worth keeping. Then people with power wonder why nobody has any confidence in their systems

I hate when teachers assume what their students will be when they get older. I have had so many teachers tell me that I will be a “great teacher/Doctor/nurse/scientist” etc etc.
Even after I tell them my plans for the future.
No I will not be any of those things. Let me choose my path

It's amazing how many TED talks are being made about this subject (school, what it does to us, etc) yet nothing is being done to this day. That's the world for you. Trust me. People know it's an issue but it'll never change. At least until someone with these views somehow rises to acknowledgeable power.

you should look into big picture learning schools. Gibson Ek in issaquah, washington is a new one that's doing well but there's a bunch all over the place.

Standard means normal or average. If every aspect of life formed through "standards" we would all look the same, feel the same, like the same things and eat the same things and frankly, life IS NOT like that. Yet people still categorize us with the same scale as if our genetic markers are identical, and that is scientifically a recipe for disaster. So shove that scantron up your hole.

Honors — my worst enemy knowing I’m in the average class. Sometimes I’m smarter then those in an Honors class, but that doesn’t mean anything knowing you won’t get the same level of education just because you’re a B average. When will I get my chance to show people I’m just as capable? When will I be presented with a grade-above worksheets? Maybe I need to be an A average all the time with no ups and downs. But I’ll never know any of this and that because I’ve never been in Honors. Because I’m a B average.

The education system needs to be more personalized. Each student learns differently, if schools were actually efficient there would be personality and satisfaction tests every few months or so to see how the student learns and how much they can handle.

School logic

Stay in a classroom and tell prisoners to read it!
Study a night before a test and then forget it after a few sec after the test.
Spend half of ur day in school and forced to memorize useless things more,,,


I wanna kill for who mad e the education system

I'm in my first year of high school in the 'amazing' state, Utah. What most students do is memorize facts for our tests for good grades. If you don't get good grades, you don't pass anything. I've seen kids in my class break into panic attacks during tests, I have also. Most kids just joke around and the center of attention is on them, no one sees the others struggling. I've seen parents judge and basically bully their own kids because of grades and numbers. I don't feel like a person in school, just another number amongst the thousands of others. I struggle to belive in myself during school, trying to make my self believe that I am good at this class. I wish our education would change to help others…

I wish my teacher knew about my depression and anxiety, and what's why I don't do my homework. I'm too busy crying and biking far far away from my loud house and going to towns out of my state so i can just get some quiet and cry by myself

The Department of Education needs to close their doors. The only way our children will get the education they need is to handle public ed at the local level. We are too big of a nation to have one method, approach or qualification for all. The people should have more control.

We were doing a problem, and the easiest way to do it was to use a calculator. Teacher asks us to give the answer, we give it to her and she asks how we got it. When we say calculator, she gets angry and demands us to tell her how to do it on paper. Five minutes later, she asks us a question, but nobody answers or picks up their calculator. She tells us “Your calculator is there for a reason”

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