What followed was a total educational freakout, as the principal, vice-principal and administration alternately cajoled and guilted her over her kids' non-participation in pedagogically suspect, meaningless, destructive high-stakes testing.
Of course they did. Everything from funding to whether a school is even accredited is based on standardized testing.
No, really. It was bad before, got worse after No Child Left Behind passed, and will continue to go downhill now that Core Curriculum is being passed. What, learn from Finnish success? No! Let's make PE, art, and music teachers teach Math and English (so why do we have Math and English teachers, again?)
Meanwhile, China reduced the amount of standardized testing.
McElroy's story is a snapshot of an educational system in the process of implosion, driven by the ridiculous idea that schools are factories whose product is educated kids, and whose employees must be made "accountable" by measuring anything we can put a number on -- attendance and test-scores -- at the expense of actual educational outcomes.
And that's why the school administrators had a come-apart. I'm guessing these kids were some of the better students; if the school can't show improvement through standardized testing, they're going to have a bad time.