There’s not a lot I can add to what this parent of a soon-to-be high school graduate thinks of the education her child and other American students are getting.

Based on my experiences as a college professor, test-taking has decreased critical thinking skills. I have seen a marked decline in reading comprehension and writing performance in my students.

Today’s students are products of intensive testing. They remind me of Pavlov’s dogs. Tell them something will be on the test, and a bell rings in their heads. Tell them they are not responsible for certain material, and they tune out. There is no genuine spirit of inquiry, no interest in figuring out why something did or did not work. Describing their writing skills as "atrocious" is an understatement — and these are the students who had to pass multiple writing tests in order to graduate high school.

No one wants to admit that testing has forced us to dumb down education and eliminated the initiative for young people to excel beyond a test score. But that is indeed what has taken place. Test scores only tell one part of the story of a person’s capabilities. A high school principal once told me, "You don’t grow the cow by weighing it." It’s time to put away the scales and start improving the nutritional content of the feed. I only wish we could start within the next 140 days.

She has many more right-on-target observations that you should read.

education, standardized testing, NCLB