Not Standard

Here’s a story problem photocopied out of a children’s math workbook.  In case you can’t read it, it says, “Make pictures of: a cow, a lion, a goat, an owl.”

Below these instructions, the problem asks, “Which one doesn’t belong? Why?”

I’ve unscientifically surveyed at least 20 adults, teachers and non-teachers, and every single person has answered the same way.

What would you answer?


Because an owl is a bird and can fly?

Well, then you’d be correct.  At least, according to the workbook’s answer key.

But check out this response:

Absolutely brilliant.

And this is my illustrated example of why standardized testing doesn’t work.


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3 Responses to Not Standard

  1. Steven C says:

    amen. at least there was room for an explanation.

    that said, goat can be quite tasty.

  2. hannah says:


  3. hannah says:

    a year later, i am still so impressed with that response. some brilliant young people out there…

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