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In: Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Vol. 21, Issue 1, 2008 (Forthcoming).


Statewide testing has created an atmosphere in schools that is intimidating and mundane. A substantial body of research indicates that as students pay increasing attention to how well they are doing, they become decreasingly concerned with what they are doing. If we simply wanted to know how well a student was learning, or how well a teacher was teaching, there are many rich, authentic, classroom-based forms of assessment that could give us a meaningful answer. Only if your primary concern was to know who’s beating whom would you need to give exactly the same mass-produced tests under the same conditions