The New England Patriots lost their first game all season last night. I know, that's not news to anyone. But it's got me thinking. After an almost perfect season, losing one game has meant that people have called the Patriots' performance disappointing or a failure. This one game, just a few hours, has changed many people's impressions of the team. Is that reasonable?
We seem to do the same thing to our students with standardized tests. One bad day, a few hours of sub-par performance, and a child can be labeled negatively for some time. Their scores on a test often are viewed as more accurate, exact, and important than anything their teachers might know about them. All the anecdotal notes, classroom tests, and other assessments carry less weight.
Our students, at their young ages, aren't ready for a Super Bowl of standardized tests.