No Child Left Behind test makes one kid crazy

Bloomberg reports (hat tip to digg): "Fourth Grader Suspended After Refusing to Answer Exam Question" and here's the basic story:
Tyler Stoken was a well-behaved fourth grader who enjoyed school, earned A's and B's and performed well on standardized tests.
In May 2005, he'd completed five of the six days of the Washington State Assessment of Student Learning exam, called WASL, part of the state's No Child Left Behind test.
Then Tyler came upon this question: ``While looking out the window one day at school, you notice the principal flying in the air. In several paragraphs, write a story telling what happens.''
In this case, Tyler's initial thoughts would have been embarrassing and mean. So even after repeated requests by school personnel, and ultimately the principal herself, Tyler left the answer space blank. ``He didn't want them to know what he was thinking, that she was a witch on a broomstick,'' says Tyler's mother.
Because Tyler didn't answer the question, McCarthy suspended him for five days. He recalls the principal reprimanding him by saying his test score could bring down the entire school's performance.
Tyler ... hasn't been the same since, his mother says.
``He liked the principal before this,'' she says. ``He cried. He didn't understand why she'd done this to him.''
Now, Tyler blows up at the drop of a hat, his mother says. ``They created a monster. He'll never take that test again, even if I have to take him to another state,'' she says.
Tyler's attitude about school changed. He became shyer. He's afraid of all tests and doesn't do as well in classes anymore, his mother says.
And get this:
While there's no academic effect on elementary school children taking the exams, there can be repercussions for school administrators. When schools repeatedly fail to show adequate yearly progress, as defined by No Child, the principal can be fired.
So it's not all about children, after all, but whether a principal is employed or not. Poor kid: his life [and his family's life] is ruined all because the principal['s employment].

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