It starts with the GEPA, then before you know it it’s time to ACT so you can prepare for the PSAT and SAT so that maybe, one day, you can take the GRE, LSAT, or even MCAT. But generally, by this time, all those acronyms just make you want to scream, “Fuck THAT.” Standardized testing is an American phenomenon, and, like the Big Mac or residual fumes off a NASCAR circuit, probably one that’s making us dumber rather than smarter. Education journalist Anya Kamenetz explores why we make our children jump through hoops in The Test. Her new book explains how schools become so obsessed with standardized tests, how private industries commandeered them, how taxpayers fund them, and how parents can find a way around the often stressful and ultimately inaccurate measure of their kid’s aptitude. Tonight she’ll read, sign copies, and conduct a Q&A. Hint: The answer isn’t A, B, C, or D.

Mon., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., 2015