Thanks for your response, Jessica. When I comment I’m always hopeful it will lead to more fruitful discussion.
You say, “To be successful in many careers, a very strong knowledge of some fundamentals is necessary.”
I’m wondering what about very strong means “in one’s head.” Do you equate strength with independence? I’m not sure why/where you’re making that link.
An average engineer with a calculator will always be “stronger” than an expert without one, right?
And yet we handicap everyone for 4 hours…for what reason and to what end, I’m not sure.
I think that the application of algebraic (and beyond) formulas would be the key measure on which we’d want to assess future engineers.
Unfortunately these incremental improvements get us not one bit closer to assessing how good one is at taking the math (aka the calculator) and the concept (the principles of engineering in your case) and all the smart people around them and building something of value.
We can all agree that the people apt at putting all those things together will be the most successful in their careers. Yet we make no attempt to find out who these folks are. Most just end up going outside/around school to show the world they have the necessary skills.
When we make real change to what the SAT tests our schools will start to change what they teach.
In other words, when we stop trying to see who can do the best calculator impression in each class we can start to see who has the most potential as an effective engineer in each class.