MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Years later, exam question
about a leaf haunts Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown has made his displeasure with standardized tests plain any number of times. On Monday, he offered his story about a leaf.
Interviewed onstage during a conference, Brown recalled a “shocking” exam he took as a high school senior. It included only one question, Brown said: “Write your impression of a green leaf.”
Brown, now 75, said he “didn’t know how to deal with it” and now, walking by a tree, he wonders, “How’s my impression going? Can I feel anything? … Actually, this is a very powerful question that has haunted me for 50 years, but you can’t put that on a standardized test.”
James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic, asked Brown about preparing students for a global economy. “Do you think students are in the global economy?” Brown responded. “No, they’re in the classroom.” When Bennet said students eventually would be in the global economy, Brown objected again.
“No, they’re not,” he said. “They’re going to be in a job somewhere. We’re not in the global economy. I hate to disillusion you. We’re just here, in this hallway, with a bunch of people looking at us.”
– David Siders