I really pissed off someone today. In the article "Building Social Skills in Gifted Youths?" I replied to a person who listed getting "perfect ACT scores" in the 5th grade as an accomplishment.
Is this a valid accomplishment? Sure! How many other 5th graders do you know who have done this? Not many, I'm sure.
However, my objection to this being an accomplishment classified along with other more practical accomplishments such as learning Perl, translating Star Wars into French, & etc. are detailed below.
Standardized tests are, for starters, hardly something to write home about. Many people of average intelligence spend thousands of dollars on test-prep to get perfect or near-perfect scores, while on the other end of the spectrum, people with above-average intelligences can barely break over 1000 on their SAT because of things like ADD and/or by simply being poor test-takers.
There are also questions regarding the ethical issues of such tests (are they really true indicators of scholarly achievement?) including the fact that the same companies who rake in much money administering the tests make much money selling test-prep and licensing test material to other companies for test-prep. People are profiting off this venture and I for one think this is a conflict of interest.
My objection to this has apparently sparked a heated response from the person I replied to.
They're in calculus too! How dare you question their achievements, you twit! (Yes, I was called a twit for a mere criticism. How mature.)
Come on. Grow up. These are smart kids, no doubt. But don't give me some high and mighty bullshit about how everything they do is somehow godly.
If you would like to read the thread, here you go.