In the eight years that I haven't been in the classroom, I've watched and listened to all the dialogue about the encroachment of standardized testing. In particular is something called the "Smarter Balanced" assessment tests that are being given in my community. While the newspaper editorialists and many local politicos tout them as necessary and a significant, valid measure of what our students can and cannot do, those in the classroom are either silent and compliant, or condoning the virtues of non-compliance with these high stakes tests. In fact, the head of the Portland Assn. of Teachers recently said: Abuse, can be "the result of cruel and unconscionable acts that impair a child's psychological, cognitive, emotional and or social well-being" such as from "habitual ridicule" or "scapegoating." She questioned whether low-income or non-English-speaking students would be subjected to harassment if their school fares poorly in test results.
That's all conjecture, I know. But what is not is the fact that rigor and rigormortis aren't all that far apart. As many students would say, "you're killin' me."