Testing is Becoming A Den of Snakes

I received the following story from a mom of a junior attending a high school in Spokane School District.  It crossed my computer screen late last night.  My sleep was restless.  Each time I woke up, this story entered my heart and made my blood boil.

Tossing and turning.

What can little ole’ me do?

For those of you who are close to me, one thing you know is I am a snake phobic.  I have been since I was a very small child.  Kind of silly.  Yet, here I find myself writing a SBAC Snake Series.  Just seeing pictures of snakes makes my skin crawl.  I envision the Indiana Jones scene in which the snakes are slithering over and under each other in the temple.  I couldn’t watch.

Another story came out of California, of a family who built their home over a snake den.  Unaware.  I again envision the hoard of snakes wiggling over and under each other and crawling up through the vents.  The occupants would kill one snake only to face another and another and another.  A snake exterminator didn’t work. Eventually the family vacated their brand new home after trying every avenue to eliminate the snakes.

Deep Breath. Den of Snakes 2


The following story made me feel like this family.

I’ve got my machete out and I’m trying to chop off the heads of all the Testing Snakes.

The SBA is like a huge King Cobra.

And there are many other snakes among us.

Story Seven

“I’m having an impossible time with my son’s High School (Spokane WA) My son is in the national honor society, an ACE Scholar, 3.8 GPA, honors and AP classes, has 18 of the 22 required credits for graduation (he’s only a junior) and he’s being told he won’t graduate next year because he hasn’t passed the Common Core standardized test (EOC) for biology (missed by 10 points). He got a C when he took AP biology. I’m so angry. What can I do?! Who do I talk or go to? I’ve been to the counselor, the vice principal, and now here. I need help. I’m going to explode with rage soon. Can anyone help me help my amazing son get this EOC test off his back?!?”

From a Mom with a conscience (emphasis mine)

Concluding Thoughts

What are we doing to our children? What messages are we sending? Can anyone honestly say this young man isn’t “college and career ready”?


He has four years of high school. Taken AP classes. Shown the new buzz word… “grit” and he won’t graduate because of one biology test? And he passed his AP Biology Class.


What is this kind of stress doing to this young man? Is this test crazed data addicted system making him feel like a failure?

This is complete BS. Yep, my blood is boiling.

I wonder if they will make him take a “remedial” biology course his senior year from curricular materials written by Pearson? This wave of over testing is all about the “dang” money.

While the Chinese pay for IV Drips to keep their children awake to test prep, and the United States tries to “be more like them”, our children are pushed to have more “Grit”.


We are fighting a den of snakes.

Passionately Submitted,


This Story has A Happy Ending…

Read: A High School Junior Beheads a Snake


1)  Why Teaching Kids To Have Grit Isn’t Always a Good Thing

2)  Chinese High School Pays For IV Drips For Studying Students

6 thoughts on “Testing is Becoming A Den of Snakes

    1. Thank you so much Roxana! I am so appreciative of you sharing your research. I will be devouring it soon and adding it to my files. I appreciate all the support and networking I can get. I am very worried for our teenagers. I believe we are measuring the least important things. The most important things can no be measured… curiosity, creativity, imagination, innovation, out side the box thinking… I wonder about the “Ernest Hemingways” of the world… creative souls… would he have been able to pass the 11th grade math portion of the SBA? Yet… would he have been ready for college and career? I know students who scored high on tests, yet floundered in college. This is all so crazy… determining college readiness by a test… -Raz


  1. Roy Frady, MAT-Secondary Math and Science, PhD Candidate - Curriculum and Instruction says:

    There is a problem somewhere when a student who aces Biology and carries a 3.8 overall GPA can’t graduate. My question to the state is going to be “What are we going to do with all of the dropouts?” What are going to do with Junior and Senior classes that are double their allowable size? We need this fixed now

    Liked by 1 person

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