Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Questions about Me


Now you, too, can answer standardized test questions about me. In April I shared some of the funny tweets that bored Texas teenagers posted after being forced to answer reading comprehension questions about me on a standardized test (called STAAR). Turns out that test has been released! [Full text of the test.]

Test takers are asked to read the content of a Technology Review article about me by Kurt Kleiner, and a Newsweek article about Barry Bingham. They then must answer a number of questions about me and Barry, and write a short essay comparing us. It is surprisingly embarrassing to imagine someone having to actually take the test, and I cringe just reading it.

But I really enjoyed the wrong answers:
  • In paragraph 1, the author quotes William Chang to show that (X) Teevan caused problems as an intern.
  • In the article, what is the most likely reason Teevan wouldn’t discuss the commercial release of her programs? (X) She is modest about her accomplishments.
  • Why does the author end the article with a quotation? (X) To hint that Teevan is preparing to change careers.
  • What is one similarity between the selections? (X) They both explain the harm caused by the advent of the digital age.
  • Unlike the author in “Digital Dad Versus the Dinosaurs,” the author of “2009 Young Innovators Under 35: Jaime Teevan, 32” (X) clearly admires his subject.
Texas also published some of the answers the essay question received to support grading. My favorite quotation from the sample essays is, "Jaime is using the web to find out news, information on someone." I sound a little creepy. But in general, in reading the essays I really hope that I can live up to the high expectations of Texas high school students set for me to "use [my] knowledge of technology to better the world."

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  1. Turns out the most common search query that leads to my blog is: "In paragraph 1, the author quotes William Change to show that --" I can only assume that it is being issued by students looking for the answer. :) If that's why you're here, your answer is "B. Teevan was given the freedom to experiment."

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