The testing is a HUGE issue with teachers everywhere. The explosion of mandatory testing nationwide with the advent of No Child Left Behind (GWB) and then Race to the Top (Obama) wherein funding is tied to test results brings the testing companies piles of money (Neil Bush, bro of GWB owns one of the major ones that he purchased just before NCLB was implemented...what a surprise?) A major part of teacher evals is also based on test results. The teachers are compelled to take away vital teaching time to prep for the tests...teaching to the tests. The students are traumatized and suffer from ongoing test anxiety. Many schools treat testing day with militaristic policies such as guards in the halls, no potty breaks unless absolutely necessary (they are timed and guards stand outside the restrooms), exterior doors are locked as well as classroom doors (regardless of fire codes), NO talking, etc. Long term learning is replaced by short term cramming. The Million$$$ spent on testing could be used more productively elsewhere in the schools (keeping arts, music, after school programs viable, e.g.) and students, teachers, and parents would greatly benefit. Why is it so hard to pay teachers living wages with full benefits WHEN THEY SPEND MORE TIME WITH CHILDREN during their waking hours than the parents? Teachers play a major role in assuring their students' future success.
What the federal government spends on drones alone would fund FREE education K-University for several lifetimes.
Blaming teachers for the US being behind other nations in achievement negates all the contributing factors that adversely affect student achievement with POVERTY being one (homelessness, hunger, parents working two-three low wage jobs to make ends meet taking them away from home, etc.).
BRAVO to the teachers in Seattle going to bat for their students and their schools!