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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Tiniest Test Takers

London - Pearson PLC, the world's leading learning company, announced a new product that will allow the company to begin administering standardized tests to the nation's youngest students - fetuses.

Pearson-provided sonogram of fetus taking ELA exam. Sadly,
test scores prove the fetus is merely average.
New Pearson CEO John Fallon gushed, "We couldn't be more excited about this development."

Mr. Fallon explained to reporters how Pearson scientists used nano technology to create tiny number two pencils that can be placed into a woman's uterus. "If you look very closely, you can see that we have been able to provide the fetus with a bubble test and a number two pencil," boasted Fallon while pointing to a sonogram.

Scientists associated with the project agree that the new development is quite a feat. "Shrinking the pencil wasn't too difficult," explains Dr. Michelle Benito. "But creating test booklets and bubble sheets resistant to amniotic fluid, well that took a good deal of effort."

Benito describes the testing process, "Testing materials are injected into the mother's uterus utilizing the same needles employed during amniocentesis. Then we guide the materials into the fetus' hands using probes and prod it to take the exam. We give the unborn about an hour to complete the test and then we suction the materials out through the needle. The only problems we have encountered are fetuses who refuse to take the exam and fetuses who eat the pencils."

Asked by one reporter if standardized testing of the unborn was perhaps "ridiculous" Fallon responded irately, "Our philosophy is that you can never test too early or too often. Clients that agree will purchase and implement this product; clients that don't, won't."

When asked to comment on this new Pearson initiative, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten responded with a question of her own, "Can we finally agree that testing is out of control?"

Reality Alert: 
Interested in how we came to write this? Read the Jason Standford: Cashing in on Pre-K TestingConnecticut Adds New Tests for Kindergarten, 1 and 2 Grades as well as comments associated with piece. Also Florida Gets Tough on 5-Year-Olds.


  1. This will probably happen!!!

  2. It's much closer than you think, anonymous.

    The babies don't need to be able to hold a pencil; their caregivers are enlisted to fill in the bubbles, rating their development on linear scales, for inclusion in the permanent data-bank that will follow them through life. The rubric is whatever qualities Pearson deems important in a toddler. Several states have adopted Pearson's "data-based" early childhood assessment instruments.

    You can't make this stuff up, and you don't need to. Here's Pearson's own breathlessly enthusiastic self-promotion:

  3. I think the wombs should be given a report card grade based on the test performance of the fetuses. Those fetuses in wombs with failing grades should have the opportunity to transfer to another womb with a higher grade. No fetus left behind!

  4. I have to say that Deborah has the whole issue correct. If a fetus is in a failing womb it should get a chance at a better life. I'm sure any caring parent would feel that way. It should be allowed to go to religious womb, with it's state money following it. And if the fetus acts up or doesn't do as well as others, it can always be sent back to it's original womb - we wouldn't want it to negatively impact the rest of the higher scoring fetuses and wombs.

  5. I think this is discriminatory by nature. Why are people in the after life not included? Just because you are dead does not mean that you can't compete for Race to the Top money!

    George McLaughlin

    1. You should work for Pearson. It's that kind of thinking that makes them so profitable