17 Comments

  1. Mason is conflating elementary diagnostics with outdated election politics. The Iowa Tests are (or were) basic tests of reading skills, typically administered every two years to assess both individual student progress as well as overall school performance. The Iowa caucuses are an important first test of the viability of presidential candidates; only those that survive there have a chance to make it to the California primary, which was traditionally held very late in the primary season. This is no longer the case: because of its importance (in the number of delagates), the 2020 California primary has been moved up to join “Super Tuesday” in March.

  2. Iowa has been the first major primary of the Presidential election cycle. If you don’t do well there, you usually drop out before the California primary. It is getting to be that time again soon…..

  3. I initially read it as simply saying Iowa is on the way (i.e. must be ‘passed’) if you’re going (westbound) to California. But given this is B.C. I imagine the political interpretation is correct.

  4. @ Powers – I have no idea how widespread they are, but I took them in Maryland, so they were certainly not limited to Iowa. Test week was always enjoyable: a couple of tests before lunch (no pressure because they were diagnostic and did not count towards grades), then relatively easy activities in the afternoon, and no homework all week.

  5. These guys, the heirs of Hart, may have grown up in California. In the 70s the Iowa Tests were big there. I went to several school districts there growing up and they all did the Iowa Tests. They weren’t in all grades iirc, just a few but they were standard there.

  6. Interesting. In Florida, we took the CTBS tests (California Test of Basic Skills). That was in the 80s, though. Not sure what version of standardized test they use now. I know my daughter took something different, but I don’t remember what.

    Remember: Wuzzle means to mix. A yonker is a young man. A baloo is a bear.

  7. I took the Iowa tests in Maryland (late 70s) and the California tests in Tennessee (early 80s). They were a good assessment of my skills for properly filling in circles with pencil. I was going to suggest the geezer tag, but I guess these things still exist.

  8. @Powers, I grew up in New York City and we took Iowa tests in Junior High. This was 1966. I don’t know if they still give them.

  9. Iowa tests ring a faint bell for me… I think they were used in Virginia in the 70s/80s too.

  10. Huh. I thought the NYS Board of Regents had their own tests. Didn’t think they’d outsource to Iowa. =)

  11. Don’t recall if I ever took the “Iowa tests” here in the Gopher State or not, but I’ll bet a lot of the people here once took the “Minnesota Multiphasic Test” without living in Minnesota at the time.

  12. “…the California primary, which was traditionally held very late in the primary season. This is no longer the case: because of its importance (in the number of delagates), the 2020 California primary has been moved up to join “Super Tuesday” in March.”

    In other words very late in the primary season… If every state moves their primaries earlier then the “all children are above average” result is just that March is the new end of the primaries.

  13. @ woozy – There’s been some resistance (from both parties) to the race to reschedule. Putting too many primaries too early (or all on the same date) makes it more difficult for candidates to campaign adequately.

  14. When I was growing up in Nebraska it was known as the “Iowa Basics Test” and everyone took them in elementary school.

  15. I just asked Robert about the Iowa tests – he ran a mental health center for children which was also a school – and he never heard of them.

    I also went to school in NYS in 1966 (would be 8th – 9th grades) and don’t remember taking them – but we might have taken them and not been told what they what they were. Took Algebra Regents end of 9th grade – no others until 10th grade or higher.

  16. The road to California may be through Iowa, but we know in NY know that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s