I applaud Timothy Healy's article "Testing the Output of a College Is an Idea Doomed to Fail" (Op-Ed Page, Nov. 16). The federal Department of Education is being irrational in thinking that the output of a college education can be measured by testing students.
I am a student at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. The reason why I am attending Cal Poly is not to memorize formulas and phrases but to learn how to handle challenges. Memorization is worthless if one cannot interpret the meaning of what is being memorized. If the Department of Education does start testing the students, what good is it going to do?
What the Department of Education needs to test is how well the students from different schools understand problems and how to solve them. This is the reason for an education. A college education does not try to provide the answers for all business, social, economic and political problems.
What a student does learn is what problems are and how to go about solving them. Healy shows how well he understands this when he states that, "In other words, he or she is asked to rise to a bewildering variety of challenges, and to concentrate both knowledge and skill to meet them. In this way students acquire a mental habit that is essential to any kind of work."