Exactly. I can't tell you how many classrooms I've seen where students NEVER have a real book in their hands. They don't read anything except for 2-3 page practice test passages. They don't write anything except for extended responses to released test questions for practice. Creative writing is out completely because it's not tested. They don't do any hands on or real world connection activities because that isn't how the test works. I was teaching perpendicular lines last week and my students were having a really, really hard time even with all of the visual strategies (make an L, make a right angle with your arms, see if you draw a box, etc.) and I asked if there was a class set of protractors I could bring in to help. The answer? They don't want them using things that they wont' have access to on the test. Entire lessons throughout the year are devoted to how to answer multiple choice questions correctly (how to fill in the bubbles correctly, circle key words, eliminate the obvious wrong answer, etc.) If they're even allowed to go to music class, they do things like read passages about musicians and answer multiple choice questions about them. Forget Science and Social Studies all together, because they're not tested. We have 30 minutes a day for both SS and Science combined (not 30 minutes each). From the beginning of the year, students are grouped into "will pass" "might pass with intervention" and "won't pass no matter what." All of the intervention resources are thrown at the "cusp" kids who have a chance at passing while the kids who need challenging and the lowest kids are completely ignored. Teachers are being told not to agree to take classes that are heavy with special needs or ELL students because their class make up won't be taken into account when test scores come out. And for those of you that argue that's not the intention of the test and people are taking it too far- I'll argue right back that they don't have a choice. It's the law. If you don't do well your school is closed and everyone, including those administrators who are "abusing the test" loses their jobs. Personally, I'd give anything for the chance to be a teacher when teachers were allowed to just actually teach, before all of this nonsense. I'm extremely envious of the older teachers in my building who are ending their careers now and getting out while they can, while I'm practically just starting in an era where I frankly don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.