Select the option that best answers the following question.
The multiple choice test was invented by Frederick J. Kelly.
Kelly invented the test in 1914.
Kelly served as President of the University of Idaho from 1928-1930.
All of the above.
Yes, a former UI president created the torturous testing format every American has been subjected to since the U.S. government incorporated Kelly’s “bubble test” into the education system nearly a century ago.
Kelly wrote his doctoral dissertation at Kansas State University in 1914, outlining the “Kansas Silent Reading Test,” which became the basis for tests like the SAT, when the United States was in the midst of an educational crisis.
The number of students pursuing a higher education was skyrocketing, but America’s involvement in World War I resulted in a teacher shortage. Kelly’s test filled the need for an easy and efficient way to test students’ knowledge.
Kelly admitted later “this is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders,” but educators could determine whether students met proficiency standards with standardized testing.
When Kelly became president of UI in 1928, he abandoned his own test. In his inaugural address, he argued his previous school-to-work mentality was not conducive to higher education.
“College is a place to learn how to educate oneself rather than a place in which to be educated,” he said.
This enraged UI’s faculty and Board of Regents and Kelly was ousted in 1930, despite popularity with many students. He went on to become the college and professional schools chief in the U.S. Office of Education.
But Kelly’s monster was on the loose and every American student since has taken some adaptation of the Kansas Silent Reading Test.