Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I don't test well....

With the partisans in an uproar over the precise and coded meanings of "global test" and the jokers quickly seizing an opportunity for pointed satire, it might be worth thinking a moment on the idea of a legitimate test. In purest form tests can tell us several kinds of things: 1) how much we know of a particular body of information (the spelling test), 2) how well we may have mastered skills (the arithmetic test), 3) what present conditions are (the litmus test). Before dismissing out of hand the idea of a global test, the present administration might begin applying the concept to the next two debates. Otherwise we might get two more lackluster performances which will result in a failing grade come November 2nd. The public wants to see that the President knows what he is talking about -- not just hear his assertions. It wants to know he has mastered more skills than calling the military up. And it wants to judge the present conditions in the world against some objective standard. These are the "global tests" for the American electorate, but without some more tangible evidence that this administration is on the right track, their votes could very well be multiple guess.

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