I had to pull everything down off my walls yesterday and organize the students into rows. When it was all finished I seriously was sad. There is no evidence of learning at all in our classroom now. The walls are blank. THe books had to be turned around. THe flag, globe, and clock have all been removed.
I hate testing. I seriously hate it. I even called our state senator yesterday (thanks for the heads up Meesh) to urge him to get rid of such test. Of course it will probably be replaced with another test. The issue I have is not with the test itself so much as the way the results are configured to compare students with each other. Our students keep doing better, but yet to look at the scores you would never know. Thanks bell curve.
One of the biggest phenomenons I have ever come across was when I worked in California. The state, the district, and even community (The Fresno Bee) all urged teachers to bring students up to the fiftieth percentile. Now I am not statistician, but isn't that statistically impossible? Every time I heard that, which was often, I giggled to myself and thought, "thank goodness these morons aren't taking the test..."
So if you live in my state and you happen to see a 3-5 grader at the market or something, give him a pat on the back and tell him he is smart. Because no matter how "smart" he actually is, he probably didn't feel that way at 8 am this morning.