Career Tests for Kids: Pass the Crayons

This kindergartner cries upon learning that she has failed her career test and is qualified to work only as a school turnaround artist, a field in which she can operate free of the burden of success or failure.

News that the ACT is developing a cool new career test for kindergartners was met with predictable scorn and outrage by the anti-testing crew. While the spectacle of kiddies clutching crayons and coloring in bubbles to correspond with their career interests was apparently too much for the no test brigade, the EduShyster gives the idea a 36, a perfect score by ACT standards.

Why does EduShyster love the idea so much? A) Our youngsters are being taught the important skill of coloring inside the bubble, one that they will put to use on infinite occasions during the next 13 years B) career decisions, much like the proclivity for white collar crime, are genetically determined and this test will simply help us identify what jobs are in Johnnie’s genes C) this test will give us a cool new way to evaluate the performance of Johnnie’s teacher and help her transition to a new career if necessary D) this test teaches kids how important it is to share, as in: by introducing a career test for kindergarteners, ACT made an aggressive move to capture market share among young test takers. E) the test is so easy that even a pineapple can take it, after which the remaining kindergartners may dine on said pineapple’s rings.

Besides, everyone knows that most children have already formed strong career preferences by the age of 3. (The young EduShyster had already begun training for a job involving cake eating, sandboxes and anything having to do with bathrooms).

But what sayeth the fine folks at ACT about the reasoning behind the new test? Surely the are motivated by a love of children and a desire to close the achievement gap?


Jon Erickson, president of ACT’s education division, said the goal is to identify and address gaps in skills needed for college and the workforce. The assessment combines traditional testing with teacher-led projects to generate an instant, digital score.

It’s a multimillion dollar project, ACT officials said, but will be affordable and easily accessible.

Schools won’t be compelled to use the new tool, but Erickson said he anticipates that entire states or groups of states will choose to utilize it. The tool can be customized to include state-specific benchmarks and other performance measures.

Now that’s the kind of logic that even a kindergartner can understand…