Tomorrow I will administer the KPREP for the first time in my teaching career. This expensive, artificial, high-stakes test will spit out labels for my 8- and 9-year old babies, essentially deciding whether I’ve been an effective teacher, and ultimately labeling our school’s performance. However this test is not going to provide any new information for me. I know which of my students are struggling and who grasps concepts quickly and thinks deeply. In fact, there is so much this test cannot tell us that the amount of emphasis placed on it throughout the school year is, frankly, ridiculous. The test will label one of my students as Novice. It will not tell you that he came to me in second grade as a non-reader who speaks English as a second language and has a speech/language disorder and now, 2 years later, converses in full sentences and reads on a first grade level. The test won’t show you the number of times I’ve comforted my kiddos who are acting out because they are thinking about their parents- the one who was murdered over the summer, the one who’s been away in treatment for anger management, the one in jail, or the ones who just aren’t around. The test won’t show you the number of conflict resolution discussions and class meetings we’ve had so that my kiddos learn how to interact with each other before guns are readily available to them. Our school’s label won’t show you that we are truly a family for over 700 kids whose lives at home are often chaotic, affected by poverty and violence. That rather than kicking out our most challenging kids like some schools do, we surround them with a support network of sincere love and concern. So as we face a week of testing, may we all, students and teachers alike, remember we are so much more than any test can tell us about ourselves.