A reader writes:

As an educator, I have never been a big fan of standardized testing.  But as a parent, I am amazed at not only how little it tells us (which pretty much boils down to the fact that wealthy school districts do wonderfully and poor ones do not), but how disruptive it is. 

This week my daughter will be taking her 3rd grade state assessment.  I can't believe how much the parents have been prepped for pre-testing sleep schedules and nutrition advice in advance (along with downright pleading to avoid keeping "somewhat" sick kids home or scheduling appointments during testing time).  It leads me to question what goes on in poor districts where those are issues every day.  I have also been informed that students will be provided with lollipops and gum to have during the testing because it keeps them more interested and focused on the tests.  But the most amazing thing?  A notice from the teacher that stated "Due to the state assessment, we will not have any Spelling instruction this week."  And as everyone is busting their collective humps to do well on these tests, we get notice from our governor that school budgets will be slashed next year.  It's a farce.